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LET\'S GO LATIN! At the SPH Gift of Music concert on June 5

SINGAPORE, 27 May 2005 - Concert-goers at the upcoming SPH Gift of Music series will be taken on a musical journey to Latin America to taste the sounds and feel the moves of Salsa.

Set to get bodies in motion and feet tapping, Let’s Go Latin! takes place on Sunday (5 June) at 6 pm at the recently-opened Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at the Botanic Gardens. It is the second of a year-long series of outdoor concerts presented by media group Singapore Press Holdings to share the joy of music with the community and to celebrate Singapore’s 40th Anniversary. The first concert, held on 1 May 2005, was performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

For the growing number of Singaporeans who are learning Salsa, for those who pack the most popular Salsa clubs in Singapore, and for those who simply love Latin American and world music, this is a must-attend concert.

The 90-minute concert will feature the 9-piece "big band" called Ireson, comprising musicians and singers from Mexico, Colombia and Singapore, who will play a repertoire guaranteed to get audiences on their feet.

For those who haven’t tried Salsa, dancers from Attitude Dance Studios will take them through the basic moves - on the spot!

The SPH Gift of Music series, which features 20 concerts traversing different genres of music, from pop, Latin and R&B, to jazz, Asian percussion, Western classical, Chinese opera and children’s puppets, promises to be wholesome and entertaining, with something for everyone.

Audiences can expect surprising collaborations, interaction with the performers and fresh Singapore talent performing alongside established acts.

The key partners collaborating with SPH in this Gift of Music series, which ends in April 2006, are the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and a host of individuals and groups representing some of the most recognised names in Singapore music, as well as carefully-selected overseas acts.

The SPH concerts at the Botanic Gardens fall on the first Sunday of every month. In addition to these, SPH will also bring concerts to the community with performances in the heartlands, public areas and parks as part of its outreach efforts to connect with the community.
The concert series is one of many outreach events which SPH supports as part of its broadening community involvement. Each year, the media group contributes to a diverse range of education, arts and culture, community, conservation, sports and charitable projects. SPH was recently named the top corporate giver in Singapore in a survey carried out by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, and has been bestowed the Distinguished Patron of the Arts award every year since 1993.

Details of the Ireson band and lineup of the year-long concerts are given below.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited
Co. Regn. No: 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Audrey Perera
Senior Manager
Corporate Relations
DID: 6319 22261 or 96179005
Email: audreyp@sph.com.sg

About Singapore Press Holdings
Main board listed Singapore Press Holdings Limited is the leading media company in Singapore, in the print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. It publishes 13 newspapers in the four official languages and more than 70 magazine titles. Everyday, 2.78 million individuals, or 90 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of the SPH publications. Its Internet Business Unit manages the online editions of SPH’s major newspapers and magazines, which together enjoy over 250 million pageviews a month. SPH also owns a 20% stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40% stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes free newspaper Today. It also operates two entertainment radio channels, UFM 100.3 FM in Chinese and WKRZ 91.3 FM in English, under a joint venture company UnionWorks with NTUC Media.


ANNEXE 1

About Ireson
Mexican pianist and composer Alina Ramirez and bassist, guitarist and arranger Mario Lopez founded the group in 1991.

They grew up with traditional Latin music, and are trained in Classical and contemporary music.

They have performed at many international concerts in Europe and Latin America, mixing a variety of rhythms such as danzon, danzonete, son, songo, plena, afro, cumbia, merengue and so on.

Ireson also plays original music in clubs, festivals and parties alternating with many prestigious orchestras such as Niche from Colombia, Gilberto Santa Rosa from Puerto Rico, and Irakere from Cuba, among others.

In Singapore they have performed in numerous events including the Latin Series at Chijmes, Singapore International Latin Festival at Fort Canning Park, Chingay, Mexican Festival and at the NAC-ExxonMobil Concerts in the Park.

They have also performed at the Singapore Conference Hall with the Singapore Youth Choir, as well as for private corporate events and shows at The Fullerton Hotel, the Raffles and the Ritz-Carlton.

Their most recent public performances were at the Mosaic Music Festival, held in March this year at The Esplanade.


LEAD MEMBERS

Alina Ramirez
A pianist and composer, Alina began her musical studies in Mexico at the age of six. In the early 1980’s she left her country to pursue a degree in Lyon, France in Classical piano. Then she returned to Mexico and started playing Latin Music with numerous and diverse musical bands, singers and orchestras.

She has performed or recorded with many salsa greats, including Paty Santos, Elena Burque, Alberto Bermudez and Fabian Garcia from the buena vista social club, and Carrasco y su ley.

She has been musical director of bands such as Son de Merengue, and for singers such as Jorge Hernandez (Cuba), Maria Medina (Mexico), Paty santos (Puerto Rico) and Silvina Tabush (Argentina), among others.

Mario Lopez
Originally from Acapulco, Mario Lopez has been playing Electric and Acoustic Bass since 1977.

He completed degree studies on Classical Guitar at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico, and has a degree in Musical Arrangement, Composition and Instrumentalist studies from the High School of Composition and Musical arrangement in Mexico.

Mario has 12 years experience in performing and conducting bands playing different kinds of music, such as Latin, Jazz and Pop. He has performed and toured with some of the most prestigious artists in Mexico and Latin-America, such as Eugenia Leon, Paty Santos and Manuela Torres.

Faiser Jose Florez Quiroz
Faiser was born and grew up in Colombia. He has performed all over Latin America, and in this region, has performed at the Jakarta International Jazz Festival and at Salsa Havana Club in Kuala Lumpur.

His most recent public appearance was at Mosaic Music Festival, where he played with the Mario Lopez Latin Jazz Band.

He has also grown into a new and favourite act on the local jazz club circuit, playing at venues such as Harry’s and South Bridge. He has been featured on Channel 96.3 FM’s Latin Jazz Programme.


ANNEXE 2


SPH GIFT OF MUSIC CONCERTS 2005 & 2006

May 1
5pm - 6.30pm

Launch of SPH Concert Series & Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Botanic Gardens
Concert repertoire includes light classical favourites and celebratory pieces, along with some elements of pop, children’s and Chinese music.

June 4,
3pm (rehearsal concert) and 8pm (evening concert), Singapore Conference Hall

Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra (SYCO) Plays
You’ve heard the pros in the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) do it. Now it’s time to discover the next generation of talents. Watch these bright young sparks perform a concert of chamber and orchestral classics alongside their seniors from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).

June 5
6pm, Botanic Gardens

Let’s Go Latin!
Dance your way through the history of Latin American music, with this concert which promises to bring everyone to their feet as they learn about Latin American sizzle and style. Performed by musicians from Latin America and Singapore.

July 3
6pm, Botanic Gardens

VOICES
The Straits Times 160th Anniversary Concert celebrates Singapore’s musical voices - the best, the new, the young, the old, the unusual, the loved and the undiscovered.

July 24
6pm, Botanic Gardens

SPH Classical Experience - SSO in the Park
Expect more popular classics and familiar favourites.

August 5 & 6, Singapore Conference Hall
SCO Percussion Festival
SCO brings together a large party of top musicians from China, Korea, the USA and Singapore, in a thunderous celebration of drums and other percussion instruments.

* Free preview on August 3, 6- 6.45pm, Paragon (main entrance)

Aug 7, Botanic Gardens
A National Day Tribute
A celebration of Singapore’s diversity, this concert showcases our favourite National Day songs through the years, and celebrates the diverse musical sounds and styles that make Singapore so unique.

Aug 21, Toa Payoh Community Library
SPH Classical Experience - SSO @Toa Payoh
SSO performs all-time favourite classical melodies right in the heart of Toa Payoh Central.

Sep 4, Botanic Gardens
Intrigues in the Qing Imperial Court (Opera, sung in English)
Try this for an unusual experience in the great outdoors.

Sep 18, Botanic Gardens
SPH Classical Experience - SSO in the Park
Another session of classical music set in lush greenery.

Oct 2, Botanic Gardens
World of Imagination
Large specially-made puppets take to the stage and spin magical tales in this special edition concert especially for children.

Oct 9, Sengkang (opposite Compass Point)
SPH Classical Experience - SSO@Sengkang
Be greeted by the luxuriant sounds of the SSO as you step out of Sengkang MRT station.

Oct 29, Botanic Gardens
Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra
Enjoy an evening of delightful Chinese and contemporary music by the SYCO.

Nov 6, Botanic Gardens
Rhythm & Blues - Smooth Grooves
Chill out with the smooth funky sounds of some of Singapore’s own R&B and hip-hop acts.

Dec 4, Botanic Gardens
An acapella Christmas
Celebrate the season with the purity of human voices, singing
well-loved Christmas carols in tight harmonies and nifty vocal variations.

Dec 9 & 10
8pm, Singapore Conference Hall

Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra Budding Talents
Catch the young talents of SYCO, outstanding musicians from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and past winners of various national music competitions in this showcase of young musical talent.

Jan 1 2006
Botanic Gardens

Good Vibes and Peace - A feel-good new year pop concert
Ring in the New Year at this concert featuring a repertoire of well-loved songs specially chosen to touch you and make you feel energised and positive about the new year.

Feb 5
6pm, Botanic Gardens

SCO Celebrates!
A repertoire of auspicious songs to mark the Lunar New Year.

Mar 5
Botanic Gardens

SCO in the Park
SCO returns to the park to perform more favourite Chinese classics.

Apr 30
Botanic Gardens

SPH Classical Experience - SSO in the Park
SSO returns to one of its favourite outdoor venues to perform more popular classics.