Live music performances make a comeback at Blu Jaz Cafe

Blu Jaz Cafe photographed in January last year. The cafe in Bali Lane has regained its public entertainment licence after losing it in October 2018 for flouting licensing agreements, including causing excessive noise levels and greatly exceeding the
Blu Jaz Cafe photographed in January last year. The cafe in Bali Lane has regained its public entertainment licence after losing it in October 2018 for flouting licensing agreements, including causing excessive noise levels and greatly exceeding the approved occupancy load of the shophouse.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Fans of live jazz music can once again look forward to performances at Blu Jaz Cafe after it successfully obtained its public entertainment licence last Saturday.

In a Facebook post, the management thanked patrons for their "overflowing love, appeal letters and petitions".

The cafe's first weekly schedule of 2020 was posted on Monday, which was when live music performances started up again. Blu Jaz Cafe's director Aileen Tan could not be reached for comment.

It was announced in October 2018 that the venue's public entertainment licence would be terminated that month on the 22nd for repeatedly flouting licensing agreements, including causing excessive noise levels and greatly exceeding the approved occupancy load of the Bali Lane shophouse.

Blu Jaz Cafe appealed against the decision, but was rejected by the Public Entertainment Appeal Board on Jan 4 last year.

"It was very sad as the cafe was the only place in town to play live (jazz) music at the time," said full-time jazz musician Aaron Lee, 24. "When the licence was revoked, it was like the music scene here had gone silent."

He liked the "friendly air" of the venue, where he started playing drums with various bands about seven years ago.

Mr Lee added that he hoped the cafe would "cherish the opportunity to promote the local arts scene and introduce a greater variety of acts".

He is tentatively scheduled to play at Blu Jaz Cafe tomorrow.

 
 

Other home-grown artists who had performed at the cafe included comedian Fakkah Fuzz, singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and jazz veteran Jeremy Monteiro, who posted his congratulations on Facebook on Sunday.

One patron, Mr Silvio Navarro, 60, said: "The loss of Blu Jaz was the loss of affordable live music for everyone.

"For $25, you could have a drink or meal, stay to enjoy the rest of the night and still get a taxi home."

Mr Navarro, a managing director of a consultancy, added that Blu Jaz Cafe was one of the few venues which hosted four-or five-piece bands, allowing both patrons and performers to "appreciate an interplay of various instruments".

The cafe also "encouraged experimentation" and "allowed artists to express themselves freely", he said.

Having been a frequent patron of Blu Jaz Cafe since it opened in 2005, Mr Navarro was "delighted" by the licence renewal. He is looking forward to visiting the cafe this weekend.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2020, with the headline 'Live music performances make a comeback at Blu Jaz Cafe'. Print Edition | Subscribe