Throwback online music concert for the whole family
Caption: The online music concert Keroncong Asmara, (romantic keroncong), will feature musicians from Peranakan group Gunong Sayang Association and Orkestra Melayu Singapura.

Throwback online music concert for the whole family

“I visualise enjoying a cup of kopi susu, or coffee with milk, with pisang goreng, or banana fritters, in the late afternoon. The turntable spins to play a melodious keroncong record.” says Rudy Djoe, producer of Keroncong Asmara as he recounts the fond memories that keroncong music evokes. The online music concert by local performing arts group Wadah Seni Entertainment aims to raise awareness and appreciation of the music genre.

Keroncong is a genre typically performed by an ensemble of string instruments and it traces its roots back to Indonesia. Some popular songs from the genre include Bengawan Solo and Sayang Di Sayang.

Djoe is nostalgic for the heyday of keroncong music in the 1940s, when Singapore had many keroncong groups and the music was performed by music ledgends such as Zubir Said.

Djoe hopes to share the joys of keroncong with youth today and encourage them to give the genre a chance.

The production Keroncong Asmara showcases the cheerful spirit of the genre and includes music performances that blend classic folk tunes with modern Pop keroncong. The performance is part of Silver Arts, a festival that celebrates seniors and creative aging through the arts, organised by the National Arts Council.

The online music concert also includes an educational segment that traces the history and musicality of the genre. An example of a fun fact that audiences will learn through the show is the origin of the Indonesian slang Buaya Keroncong, or Keroncong Crocodile, used to describe a male keroncong musician whom women fawned over.

Djoe says: “We want to the audience to realise that keroncong is not just your grandparents’ music. It is a music for everyone – young and senior.”

Watch Keroncong Asmara online from 12 Sep at the National Art Council’s Facebook page. Visit the event page for more Silver Arts 2020 programmes.

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