Bob Aves Group @ National Museum of Singapore

October 31-November 1, 2009. Bob Aves jazz group played at the National Museum of Singapore. Details about the event here at their website.

The music is an intersection of different cultures and heritages of the Philippines. Traditional kulintang music, Spanish influences, and Western jazz idioms blend seamlessly to form a new brand of Philippine jazz.

I played for two days. The first day was for Bob’s performance-lecture at the National Museum. The second day (photos below) was at the front area of the museum. A few meters away, there was a tent where Filipino treats were sold - lechong kawali, Crispy Pata, bibingka, San Miguel beer, all the good stuff.

I regretted very much that I didn’t bring a camera with me. During the times that we weren’t playing, Tusa and I got to go around our area a bit. I enjoyed walking around the city. Singapore is so clean and organized. No need to get scared while crossing the streets. The food is good, and relatively cheap, too.

Fortunately, here are some photos from the gig by my mom’s (and now also my) friend, Edsel Tolentino.

Bob, main man, w/ octavina


Bob Aves, Jorge San Jose (drums), Simon Tan (bass)

Tusa Montes, Bob Aves, Jorge San Jose, Simon Tan, Ria Osorio

Jorge, Simon, Ria


One, two, three, and...

The Bow

Many thanks to the organizers and staff of the National Museum of Singapore for inviting the group to play.


Later that night, we were invited to dinner by Johnny Gaerlan, a Singapore-based Filipino bassist, who plays regularly at the Indo Chine, one of the swanky restaurants in Singapore. We we treated with a nice view by the riverside. I had duck soup. (Again, no photo to show for it. A camera will be at the top of my gear wishlist from now on.)

From L-R: Johnny Gaerlan, Edsel Tolentino, me, Bob Aves, Grace Nono, Jorge San Jose, Simon Tan.


Regarding Bob’s music, I see myself adopting the same spirit for my arrangements and compositions. Lately, I work a lot with larger ensembles. Using large ensembles like the big band and the orchestra, I want to be able to continue along this direction that was opened up to me by Bob Aves and Grace Nono (since I started playing with them around eight years ago), as well as mentor and friend Maestro Angel Pena. Was able to take the first baby steps towards this direction when I was commissioned to write music for the official video of the Philippine Supreme Court. With the help of Bob’s sampled gongs, and the traditional material available to me, I tried my hand in combining gongs and the orchestra (Manila Symphony Orchestra). Will post music clips here when I get my copy of the video. This is an exciting avenue to explore, as the possibilities are endless.

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At the 2008 Jarasum Jazz Festival, Korea

Our Zhu Jia Jiao Tour

Bob Aves Group at Caylabne Resort, Cavite

Bob Aves Group at Caylabne Resort, Cavite (part2)