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Prepare for daring grooves of original jazz with The Singapore Slingers at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at the Allen Public Library. Combining the rhythms of the ’20s and ’30s with the edgy energy of contemporary music, The Singapore Slingers captivates audiences with their amazing fox trots, waltzes, marches, one-steps, two-steps, rags, tangos and rumbas.

At age 8, Matt Tolentino became enchanted by the great Adrian Rollini, an early 20th-century jazz instrumentalist best known for his bass sax before the advent of big band swing music. In 2006, bandleader Matt Tollentino toured with the south Texas-based polka band The Sauerkrauts, playing clarinet and saxophone. The same year, he began to play with the Austin-based band The White Ghost Shivers, on accordion and bass saxophone.

In 2007, The Singapore Slingers was formed. Offering a variety of styles, this band is known for its “rag-a-jazz.”

Matt explains, “Rag-a-jazz spotlights the brief period between ragtime and jazz, during the late 1910s and the early 1920s, when popular music was undergoing a big change. The rag-a-jazz sound to me is the unification of ragtime and jazz, when the newer jazz rhythms were slowly descending upon the older, “safer” two-beat rhythms of ragtime. It was a musical hybrid that suggested great change was coming in the world of popular music. It welcomes the newer and more jazzy rhythms of the 1920s, while holding onto the characteristic ragtime in terms of syncopation, song form, and even the way the notes themselves were played. Think of it as early fusion!”

The Singapore Slingers has performed at the Sons of Hermann Hall, Kessler Theatre, Pocket Sandwich Theatre and a host of festivals throughout the nation. In 2011, the Dallas Observer declared The Singapore Slingers as the Best Pre-Swing Jazz Orchestra and “The city’s coolest quirkiest retro jazz group.”

A true multi-instrumentalist, Matt is equally at home on accordion, clarinet, tuba, piano, tenor guitar, banjo, and saxophones, specializing in baritone and bass sax. Matt brings the music of yesterday to the audience of today, presented with respect and reverence—the way it should be.

Sponsored by the library and the City of Allen through a HOT funds grant, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214.509.4911 for more information.