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The Satay Trio


[The Satay Trio]

Az Samad: Guitar
Fung Chern Hwei: Violin
Cheryl Tan: Vocals

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
Facebook event page:

1. [The Malaysian Insider] Ready to be serenaded by The Satay Trio? 
2. [We Are Malaysian Made] The Satay Trio: Satay Calm and Play Some Music 
3. [I.M. Magazine] Satay Calm And Listen To This Trio  
4. [] Event: Satay Trio at SStwo 


1. Satay Trio Promotional Photos (FB Photo Album Link)
2. Media Interview: The Malaysian Insider speaks to The Satay Trio! (FB Photo Album Link)
3. The Satay Trio @ Readings at Seksan's (FB Photo Album Link)

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

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Fung Chern Hwei absorbed a large amount of musical information since young in his surroundings that is filled with Chinese, Malay, South Indian, and of course, "Western" culture. After a long search for violin teacher since he was 4 years old, he finally found one when he was 8 and since then thrusted himself into the world of violin and never looked back.

Upon finishing his masters studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York, Chern Hwei chose to stay back to pursue his musical career, playing different genres of music, absorbing yet even more musical languages and expressions. Styles that he plays frequently includes western classical, jazz, Middle Eastern music, tango, early music, rock, and hip hop. He recently self-released his debut album, “From The Heart”.
Artists that he was fortunate to work with include Uri Caine, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stanley Clarke, Tony Bennet, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Wilson, Elliot Sharp, Billy Martin, Roberta Piket, Dave Taylor, Ivo Perelman, Linda Oh, Jenny Lin, Mikael Karlsson, Dana Leong, Makoto Ozone, Paquito d'Rivera, among others.

Chern Hwei is currently the first violinist of Sirius Quartet, a string quartet based in New York City that performs and teach actively in the U.S, Europe and Asia.

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.

Come for the show! Tell your friends, maybe? =)
Official FB Event Page:


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How Musical Collaborations Made My 2012 Epic!

2012 was really an epic year of music, friends and adventure for me. 

And, it was truly a year of collaborations.

I performed with so many amazing creative artists from all across the globe. It was inspiring. From New York funky fingerstyle guitarist Adam Rafferty, Blackburn multi-instrumentalist Richard Moss, Brooklyn vocalist Cheryl Tan, Queanbeyan spoken word/rapper Omar Musa, Oakland Jazz vocalist Tara Linda and Berlin fingerstyle guitarist Matteo Alderete. From Malaysia, I worked with US-trained Jazz musicians Tay Cher Siang & Julian Chan, singer-songwriter Reza Salleh and with my own trio featuring bassist Kevin Adrian Theseira and percussionist Zalila Lee

Here are the 10 videos from 2012. Enjoy!

1. Blue Monk | Cover by Az Samad & Adam Rafferty

This was the epic closer for 2012. Adam Rafferty was on his first tour in Malaysia and performed his debut Malaysian show as a guest for my Open Mic at The Venue #3. The following night, he played another set at The Bee in Publika, Solaris Dutamas. Towards the end of his set, I had the amazing opportunity to perform with him on 2 Jazz standards, Blue Monk and Stella By Starlight. Here's the video of us jamming on Blue Monk.

2. Penyair - Az Samad (guitar) and Richard Moss (mandolin)

In the summer of 2012, I was on my first European tour with Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio. After the tour dates, I visited my good friend Richard Moss & we played a art launch show. After that performance, we decided to record a few songs at his home. This is our version of 'Penyair', a song that I wrote back in 2002. Richard had learned my songs through osmosis over the years we've been friends. 

3. Dan Sebenarnya by Yuna | Cover by Cheryl Tan & Az Samad

Cheryl Tan is a pretty cool vocalist. She has quite a diverse and eclectic taste in music which makes her a wonderful musician to work with. In 2012, we started The Malaysian Music Project - an ongoing collaboration to explore the colorful repertoire of Malaysian music from pop to rock to Jazz and even musical theatre. Our first gig at The Venue was a full house concert with 2 encores! We look forward to more in 2013. Here's one of our covers, a reimagining of Yuna's song Dan Sebenarnya as a bossa nova.

4. Lost Planet - Omar Musa & Az Samad 

At the 2nd annual George Town Literary Festival, I met Omar Musa. He was a really friendly and understated guy who introduced himself to me and the writers at the fest. And then, we saw him perform his brand of spoken word. I was hooked. It was intense and sincere. Coming from a Malaysian heritage but growing up in Australia created a unique artistic soul. After the festival, we decided to meet up and via some great friends, Zarul, Liz & Yin recorded this collaboration. It's a blend of Omar's piece Lost Planet along with my acoustic guitar accompaniment. Very happy we captured this moment.

5. Az Samad/Tay Cher Siang/Julian Chan Trio | The Search For Hope

Sometimes the best gigs are the ones that catch you by surprise. This particular performance at Nerofico came together rather last minute. But, it gave us the opportunity to express what we've wanted to do for a while. I'm quite a fan of unconventional instrumentation and in this case, we got to play a guitar, piano and saxophone trio. Without a bassist and drummer, we explored Julian's composition in a playful textural way.

6. Almost Beautiful - Matteo Alderete & Az Samad 

First time in Berlin and I knew no guitarists there. Then, I contacted my friend Teja Gerken in San Francisco. He introduced me to Matteo via e-mail. After many e-mails and messages, I was in his home studio and recorded 2 duets for YouTube. It's wonderful when technology really connects people and allow new art to emerge. This is one of those moments. =)

7. I'll Cross Any Bridge for You - Tara Linda 

I worked with Tara Linda when I was living in Berkeley, California. This video was one of the last things we recorded together before I moved back to Kuala Lumpur. Brings back a lot of great memories of being in San Franscisco.

8. Cow Cow Boogie -Tara Linda in Segovia, Spain

In 2012, I toured with Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio for a festival performance in Segovia, Spain and a 3-night residency in Töpferei Niehenke, Hasbergen, Germany. Here's a video of that memorable night in Spain. Such a great audience! =)

9. Lame Joke Jam - Az Samad Duo feat. Reza Salleh 

This is what happens when a passing remark gets taken seriously. Born out of a casual conversation with Reza Salleh, we decided to see how what happens when lame jokes are spoken over improvised groovy jams.

10. Cissy Strut - Az Samad Trio

This was a great year for the Az Samad Trio. We were in the press twice (here & here) and we really developed our repertoire. This is one of the songs that I get to play electric guitar on. =)

In the end, as I reflect back on 2012 - I realize how magical the year has been and how blessed I've been to get to collaborate with all these great artists. I look forward to more music in 2013. =)

Happy new year! 


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Epic Shows in December For You! 


Wow, it’s been an amazing year!

-> I was the opening act for my musical inspirations: fingerstyle legend Tommy Emmanuel & Jazz Guitar maestro Martin Taylor! 

-> Performed at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 5 concerts including the Final Fantasy: Music From Distant Worlds concert in their Kuala Lumpur premiere!

-> Embarked on my first European tour with Tara Linda & The Tortilla Western Trio performing in Spain & Germany

-> Festival appearances at Philippine International Jazz Festival and the George Town Literary Festival

...And there’s still more music to close off 2012!

Here are 3 awesome upcoming shows:


Tues, Dec 4: Book Celebration: Readings from Readings 2 | Doppel Kafe, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Readings by many of the writers | Music by Brian Gomez & Az Samad | 8:30PM | Free Admission 

I’ll be playing a few solo pieces as a part of this book launch. It’s going to be a night of words and music. =)

Doppel Kafe
Lot 2.04, Mezzanine Floor, 
Central Market Annexe, 
Jalan Hang Kasturi, 
50050 Kuala Lumpur


Mon, Dec 10: Open Mic #3 hosted by Az Samad | The Venue, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | Featured Open Mic Acts: Rafique Rashid, Froya & guest performance by Adam Rafferty | Sign-ups: 7:30PM Adam Rafferty: 8:00PM Open Mic Starts: 8:50pm | Free Admission

Adam Rafferty - Funky Fingerstyle Guitar From New York

Come to Open Mic @ The Venue #3 on Monday, Dec 10th, 8pm with special guest funky fingerstyle guitarist Adam Rafferty! Come and watch this amazing guitarist all the way from New York City! 45-minute set yo! =) 

If you've never heard of Adam, check out these video links:

1) his version of Stevie Wonder's Superstition [YOUTUBE LINK]
2) his take on The Beatles classic Can't Buy Me Love [YOUTUBE LINK]

For open mic acts, sign-up is at 7:30pm. 15 slots only! Featured acts are Rafique Rashid & Froya.


Wed, Dec 19: The Malaysian Music Project with Az Samad & Cheryl Tan | The Venue, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 9:30PM | Cover Charge: RM40 (inclusive of first drink)

Catch vocalist Cheryl Tan with myself performing Malaysian music! From classic songs from Sheila Majid, Sudirman, to modern favorites by OAG, Yuna & Mia Palencia! 

This is a new ongoing collaborative project! Come and catch our first feature show together. =)

The Venue, 
Lot C4.06.02, Connection Level 4, 
Pavilion KL, 
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Thanks to for supporting my music! Hope to see you at an upcoming show. =)


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