Music Masterclasses: Jazz and Beyond

Music Masterclasses

As part of a wide-ranging series of jazz events at this year’s George Town Festival, Hikayat will host three in-person and hands-on music masterclasses, led by some of Malaysia’s most respected musicians. The sessions under the banner of Music Masterclasses: Jazz and Beyond focus on musical skills, the improvement of performance techniques and an enhanced understanding of music-making. The masterclasses will also be livestreamed simultaneously to reach a wider audience.

Tay Cher Siang (Keyboards)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Playing

Tay Cher Siang discusses the role of a pianist – in a band setting, as accompanist or as a soloist. The session is a hands-on demonstration of various types of playing, what to listen to, how to react to musical ideas in real time, preparations, and the kind of practice that would improve playing.

Rizal Tony (Guitar)

Improvisation Strategies: Artistic Inculcation for Jazz Guitar

For many performers, the obstacle that prevents them from being fluent during improvisation is the ability to develop an improvisational concept, shaping ideas and patterns into expressive content. This masterclass led by Rizal Tony looks at how guitarists/musicians train, think and improvise.

Ng Chor Guan (Thereminist, Creator)

The Magic of the Theremin

This masterclass introduces music lovers to a unique instrument – the theremin – an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. Ng Chor Guan shares in his exceptional journey of creating experimental music with the theremin. Participants will have ample opportunity to play the theremin, and create and record their own improvisations.

About the Facilitators

Tay Cher Siang

Tay Cher Siang is one of Southeast Asia’s finest jazz pianists, composers, arrangers and producers, and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur. With an early training in classical music, he took up jazz in his teens and began a musical odyssey as a jazz pianist. He studied with the renowned teachers James Miltenberger and Paul Scea in the United States, before returning to Malaysia to immerse himself in jazz education at a number of universities, while also teaching at his private studio and giving masterclasses and jazz clinics. As a pianist and composer, Cher Siang has toured extensively, performing in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America with both the multinational band Unit Asia, and with his own band WVC Jazz – one of Southeast Asia’s leading contemporary jazz ensembles.


Rizal Tony

Rizal Tony is a full-time music educator, jazz guitarist, musician, music director, music arranger and composer, affiliated with Universiti Teknologi MARA. He has collaborated widely with local and international musicians and artists working in the genres of both jazz and popular music.


Ng Chor Guan

Ng Chor Guan is an internationally acclaimed creator, composer, multidisciplinary artist, thereminist, improviser, educator, and co-founder of the contemporary arts collective Toccata Studio. He is a familiar face in many international arts festivals across the continents, and a prolific artist whose diverse body of work is rooted in contemporary technology that transcends genres. His interactive creation, Mobile Phone Orchestra (MPO), encourages audiences to play an active role in the performance, and was presented at the George Town Festival and the Melaka Art and Performance Festival, as well as in Britain and South Korea. His musical creation Space Age won the category of Best Production and Best Original Music at BOH Cameronian Arts Awards. Guan’s most recent project with Toccata Studio, titled Project 2020, is a multidisciplinary performance powered by the concepts of multiple futures and time travel.

Postponed until further notice

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Streaming Platform:




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