Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Tribute To Tina: Singing A 60s Sensation's Songs

Although the lady herself did not appear on stage till the end of the performance, the tribute concert on a warm August night had stalwarts on the Esplanade Concert Hall sing the songs made famous by Singapore 60s keroncong diva.

Esplanade Concert Hall with Video Interplay
Organised by the Esplanade and Associate Producer Norhayati Yusoff, in conjunction with this year's Pesta Raya - the Malay Festival of Arts, Sayang di Sayang proved to be one of the most enjoyable musical evenings I have experienced with a programme well detailed and a concert sensitively organised for singing sensation Kartina Dahari.

Orkestra Melayu Singapura with Amri Amin conducting.
I took the opportunity of taking my 7 year old piano-student grandson because I thought it best if I exposed him, while still at his age, to the rich multi-cultural heritage that we have in Singapore.  He was fascinated by the Wayang Kulit and other shows at the Esplanade's periphery but more so by the Singapore Malay Orchestra at the concert. 

It was a little dark from the circle seats but little Joshie managed to count the number of musicians with their instruments in the various sections of the 42-strong group.  The orchestra was lead by Amri Amin, music director since 2009.  His flair in music arrangement, together with the experienced singers on board, helped retain the original flavour of most of Kartina's songs.
TV 60s personality - Mr M. Ismail - remember him?
For me it was like watching a 60s Pesta Ria TV show all over again, with veterans Julie Sudiro, M. Ismail and composer  Kassim Masdor at the piano. (With his dark felt hat and sunglasses he resembled John Lee Hooker without a guitar.) English pop hits punctuated the concert of mostly Malay tunes once sung by Kartina.  With the other *younger and talented singers they provided an unforgettable evening of love and entertainment. 
The stars of the show with Kartina Dahari third from left.
It was interesting to see good friend Yusnor Ef and DJ Brian Richmond discussing Kartina on the back-drop video screen in between songs but the grand finale was the best (image) when the theme song, Sayang di-Sayang played to an appreciative and hand-clapping audience where Kartina tearfully thanked musicians, singers and audience for their support in making the tribute show a success.

It was a fascinating music and cultural experience which took me back to Kampong Wak Tanjong and Kampong Melaka days in the 1960s.  Thank you Esplanade.

The above posting is a personal one.

*I am not familiar with the younger singers. Do excuse me.
Photos: Courtesy of The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.



Keronchong Nusantara is our pride....the authentic people of the Malay Archipelago, rephrase...the AUTHENTIC people of the NUSANTARA! wohooooo! from Makasar to Sulawesi to Maluku, to Java to Sumatra to Borneo up to Singapore and Malaya...love the Keronchong forever! i suggest a whole Nusantara scale Keronchong Event should have been made to strengthen this precious culture!

eddy7788 You Tube said...

Sedap didengar... dah keroncong Kartina Dahari kan... mestilah sedap didengar... dingin telinga. Setelah 40 tahun ini pertama kali aku dengar lagu Kartina Dahari ini.

lukisanperasaan You Tube said...

A perfectly harmonious/melodious kroncong song. From the 1969 Extended Play record (EP) 'MAWAR MELATI' produced by Kassim Masdor. Later included in the the 1972 LP SAMPAIKAN SALAM KU. Recorded forty years ago the song is still fresh and beautiful. An evergreen from a true biduanita, Kartina Dahari.
Video by Roem Ahmad, Switzerland, November 2008.


Dear Mr Lim

We agree that our young generation of artistes need to be exposed to our own local artistes from young so that they will grow up to appreciate these veterans who have contributed so much to our industry.

I have shared your feedback with Mdm Kartina. She was touched.

Do look out for our coming concerts.

Thank you

WCHAN said...

Hi Andy,

Thank you for the lovely review! Look forward to seeing you at Esplanade soon!


Andy Lim* said...

Thank you all very much.