New fund to help jazz musicians

Jeremy Monteiro

Jazz musicians who have seen a drop in their income lately can now get up to $1,800 each from The Jazz Association (Singapore) (Jass).

The new Jass Crisis Fund will give a one-time grant to local jazz musicians whose earnings have been affected by crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic or health issues which prevent them from working.

Applicants have until Nov 5 to apply online at All applications will be kept confidential.

The fund is available only to Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are at least 21 years old.

Applicants must be based in Singapore and making a living as professional jazz musicians for at least three consecutive years.

They must also have experienced a loss of 40 per cent or more in their monthly income for at least three consecutive months.

Full-time national servicemen are not eligible.

Applicants will be assessed by a panel made up of Jass board directors. These include jazz veteran and Cultural Medallion recipient Jeremy Monteiro; law firm Adsan Law LLC's chief executive Susan Leong; and F&B company Neo Group's executive director Sally Liew.

The panel will look into criteria such as the personal and household needs of the applicant, and his or her contributions to the home-grown jazz scene.

According to Jass, the number and amount of the grants given out will be subject to the "availability of funds".

It may extend the deadline or reopen applications if there are sufficient funds.

Monteiro says that though musicians in every genre are suffering significant losses in income amid the pandemic, jazz musicians have been hit especially hard because they do not operate in the mainstream.

"Some have adapted by doing live-stream and session work online and remotely; some have started teaching online as well. But this represents a small portion of their already modest income and so many are definitely feeling the bite," he says.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2020, with the headline New fund to help jazz musicians. Subscribe