Since 2016, not-for-profit arts organisation We Love Jazz (WLJ) has been a bastion for Singapore's vibrant jazz scene, organizing multiple music events and projects to unify jazz lovers across our island. After five fulfilling years of serving the local music community, it has announced its decision to close today.
"With the organization's limited resources and capacity for survivability, we decided that it was best for us to discontinue operations and work towards closure," it said in its post breaking the news.
WLJ also cited the financial crisis, COVID-19 restrictions on the arts scene and the costs incurred from a major lawsuit it had previously faced as reasons that contributed to its decision to wind up.
Over the years, WLJ has been critical in bringing jazz music to the wider Singaporean community. It organized the 'SPEAKLOW! Speakeasy Music Sessions' which featured live performances by the scene's brightest gems, including acts like Christy Smith and Shun Sakai.
To liven up the jazz scene and attract fresh talents, WLJ was also the first to put together jazz competitions like Singapore International Jazz Battle in 2018. It also strived to raise the standards of jazz and improvisation proficiency among local musicians by introducing workshops such as 'Jungle Jams' and 'Jazz Kissa'.
Since its early years, WLJ has been actively organizing local celebrations for International Jazz Day, which falls on April 30 annually. Its work even gained the recognition of global jazz education group Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz in 2019, which is the leading organisation responsible for planning and promoting the celebrations worldwide.
Still, WLJ has stated that it is confident that the jazz community will continue to keep the flame alive even with the organization closing down. "We believe [WLJ's] heart and original purpose will continue to live on, and be carried on the backs of jazz musicians...and more in our midst," it said in its post announcing the closure.
Before wrapping up operations, WLJ will be having a final dialogue session with members of the community to listen to feedback and share more about its experiences over the years. This is scheduled to happen in July, and interested members should stay tuned to the organisation's Facebook and Instagram pages.