Deep Straits is the brainchild of pianist John Dip Silas (MY), bassist Jonathan Ho (SG) and drummer Benjamin Low (SG). With origins dating back to 8 years ago, the trio has been an active presence in South-East Asian jazz scene, hosting and performing with foreign jazz luminaries such as Valtinho Anastacio (BR), Michael Simon (NL) and Alex Graham (US), to name a few. The group has since developed to become a symbol of cross-border musical collaboration, friendship and a celebration of Straits culture in itself. The trio pushes the interpretive and structural limits of jazz improvisation and performance through their creative efforts to hone and shape a new, international sound that nevertheless respects the jazz language, form and tradition and their shared Straits heritage. In appreciating the past while looking to the future, Deep Straits finds itself firmly in the here and now. No Black Tie and the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018 are thus proud to present Deep Straits and Tony Lakatos as they launch their newly recorded album.
Tony Lakatos (tenor saxophone)
Tony Lakatos is a saxophonist who needs no introduction. The esteemed Hungarian saxophonist has recorded over 350 EPs and albums and is now based in Germany. He has also worked with a plethora of jazz greats including Al Foster, Kirk Lightsey, Randy Brecker, Anthony Jackson and Adam Nussbaum. He was also the first Hungarian musician to achieve international fame as a jazz musician, with a couple of his projects in the 90s being featured in the Gavin Report’s Top Ten music charts in the US. Well into the 21st century, Lakatos shows no signs of fading out as he continues lending his voice to lesser known and younger musicians on top of maintaining a strong international presence.
John Dip Silas (piano)
John Dip Silas, 29, began his musical journey at the age of five. Initially exposed to classical and church music in his childhood, John went on to discover and formally embrace jazz as his genre of choice during his music studies in the AICM (Australian International Conservatorium of Music). It was there that he met eminent Australian jazz pianist Gavin Ahearn, whose instruction has undoubtedly gone a long way in providing the basis of Silas’ development as a unique and versatile musician and composer. Silas, on top of managing several other musical projects including NewSound, is also a tutor and facilitator at the University of Malaya’s Department of Music and a newly appointed father.
Jonathan Ho (bass)
Jonathan Ho, 27, was first acquainted with music through early exposure to mandarin pop, oldies, rock and classical training on the piano. A jazz prodigy, he officially picked up the double bass and began his formal involvement in the Singaporean jazz scene in 2008, quickly garnering regional notice for his skills at the age of 17. As a participant in the 2nd Mosaic Bright Young Things Programme at the age of 19, Jonathan studied under New York-based and Julliard-trained bassist Andrew Klein. In 2013, he was called to perform at No Black Tie in Kuala Lumpur with Michael Simon, a Rotterdam-based trumpeter best known for his affiliation with the Fra Fra Sound and Big Band. This collaboration proved to be pivotal in Ho’s career as he is now enrolled in the Codarts Rotterdam jazz programme, studying bass under renowned Dutch bassist Stefan Lievestro.
Benjamin Low (drums)
Benjamin Low, 30, grew up in a musical family, with his father having worked as a professional musician in Europe and his mother a DJ on radio and in clubs around Singapore. On top of being exposed to classical music through his piano lessons, Low was also exposed to the sort of disco and funk music that his parents used to play on the bandstand and on the decks. These experiences have engendered a familiarity with a diverse array of sounds and styles audible in his unconventional and unique approach to the drums and music in general. As a musician, sound artist and writer, Low is currently preparing to pursue a doctoral programme in Sociology at the University of Oxford.
May 14, 9PM
Admission fee RM50 (inclusive of one CD) (add our concert menu on checkout, you may remove it in your cart before paying if you do not wan’t the menu option)
*RM10 off for students with valid Student ID, at the door.
No Black Tie, together with Sarawak Tourism Board present the 13th Borneo Jazz Festival taking place in beautiful Miri from the 11th – 13th of May. The festival is curated by No Black Tie. For more information and ticketing, please visit the official website.