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The Satay Trio: Satay Calm and Play Some Music

For the very first time, Malaysian musicians Az Samad, Fung Chern Hwei and Cheryl Tan  collaborate and form “The Satay Trio”.

The Satay Trio brings together Az Samad’s stellar guitar work with an intensely personal connection, Fung Chern Hwei’s expressive lyrical cross-stylistic violin and Cheryl Tan’s introspective vocals which result in a unique tapestry of orchestrated textures filled with poetic melodies.

Here is a selection of the pieces that they will be presenting and reasons behind their choice of music:

A Lotus on Irish Streams

A beautiful tune by John McLaughlin, recorded in Mahavishnu Orchestra’s still-groundbreaking first album, Inner Mounting Flame. It was originally a trio number for guitar, violin and piano. We’ll see what kind of new dish will be cooked up by the guitar-voice-violin lineup instead.

When I Walk With You

This is one of Az’s compositions during his time at Berklee College of Music.  It’s a jazz waltz that tries to capture that feeling of when you just fell in love and how the little moments mean so much.  A little different than most of the songs he wrote around that time because he had tendonitis from guitar playing and thus he could only play his little keyboard to write songs. The result? The melody has a bit more of a pianistic feel to it. Playing it back on guitar is interesting and he’s looking forward to see how the song develops with the trio.


This is a famous bebop head by Charlie Parker and/or Miles Davis. The lyrics that Cheryl is using were written by Skeeter Spight. She used to dislike lyrics written to bop-heads or transcribed solos but these are so well done and clear that she connected to them right away.

Event: The Satay Trio
Date: Friday, 1 March 2013
Time: 8pm
Cover Charge: RM40
Duration: 2 Sets of Music (45 minutes per set, 90 minutes in total)
Venue: FreeSpace, L1 – 35 & 36, Level 1, SStwo Mall, 40 Jalan SS 2/72, PJ
Email: talktoazsamad@yahoo.com
Facebook event page here
Official Website here.

The Satay Trio Ingredients

Az Samad: Guitar

Guitarist-Composer-Educator Az Samad has recorded with Grammy Winners Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca; graduated & taught at the prestigious Berklee College of Music; performed in the United States, Europe & Asia; and appeared on 16 CDs ranging in styles from Tex-Mex, Contemporary Jazz to solo acoustic guitar. His works have been described as “richly textured, poetic and atmospheric”. Previously based in Berkeley, California; Az now lives in Kuala Lumpur.


Fung Chern Hwei: Violin

The last thing Fung Chern Hwei would want is to have people categorise him as a “classical” or “jazz” or “hip-hop” violinist. He would loved to be simply be called a “violinist”.

Ever since moving to New York City from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chern Hwei has been involved in various kinds of genres of music including jazz, hip-hop, rock, experimental, free improv, new music, Baroque historical informed performance, and, of course, the conventional classical music. He is currently a member of the Sirius Quartet.

Cheryl Tan: Vocals

Cheryl Tan is a jazz vocalist and actor. Trained in multiple disciplines, she believes in utilizing the entire breadth of sound available to her to create a unique vocal palate rather than accepting the limits of genre. Tan has studied under Chris Dingman, Connie Crothers, Anthony Braxton, Noah Baerman, Alvin Lucier and Jay Hoggard. She once got to sing with Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin. Tan has been heard in New York, Japan, San Jose, Singapore and Malaysia with such diverse collaborators as hip-hop group Blue Belts, the Sam Friedman Quartet, OperaOggiNY, Michael Veerapen, John Thomas, Az Samad, Daniel Foong, Zahid Ahmad and more.

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