Jordan Wei is a Singaporean jazz musician born into a musical family. He is Chinese with bits of Indonesian and French blood but speaks English only. Son of Major Tonni Wei (Singapore Armed Forces Bands) and Patricia Goh (Music Writer). Grandson of renowned violinst Goh Soon Tioe (Singapore Symphony Orchestra) and nephew of Vivien Goh (Singapore Symphony Orchestra). List goes on and gets as complicated as father’s sister’s husband’s son’s brother plays guitar. You get the picture.
Jordan started his musical training at the age of 5, taking classical piano lessons which he sometimes found uninteresting so he switched to blues and jazz at 16. The only piano teacher he remembers is Wong Sow Mui aka “Mrs Lim the piano teacher.” He taught himself bass and drums in church when he was 8 and has been serving in church music ministry ever since. He learnt guitar from overpriced books and google websites when he was 13, which was also the age he began composing and transcribing simple pop songs. This usually took him 6 hours but today he does one song in approximately 5 minutes.
During secondary school, he joined the Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) chapel band where he learnt about chords, group playing and musicians’ egos. At this time, he also played bassoon in the Singapore Youth Training Orchestra as extra-curricular activity (ECA) and put up with the people there long enough to get decent ECA school grades.
After ‘O’ Levels, Jordan decided to do his ‘A’ levels overseas as he flunked his Chinese exam paper and was hence not eligible to study at a local junior college. The UK school semester started in September so Jordan began jazz piano lessons with Rita Sze and began practicing 6 hours a day for the next 9 months of free time he needed to kill.
In the UK, Jordan played bassoon at the Junior Guildhall School of Music on Saturdays, where he got traumatized really badly and swore off classical music forever. He somehow managed to get grade 8 bassoon in the process.
After his ‘A’ levels, Jordan served in the Singapore Armed Forces as a bassoonist for the central band and pianist and arranger for the combo band too. One of his compositions “Axiomatic” was featured in the band’s regular chamber music concerts. His army stint let him learn a lot more about “getting roasted when sight reading new music you have to play in 2 days time”
Just as he was completing his national service, he started performing at various wedding events, hotels, etc. He then left Singapore to pursue a BA Jazz degree and got befuddled stares from people when he told them what he was studying. His studies took place in Middlesex University, which was terrible at administration (and still is) so instead he learnt a great deal about jazz from fellow classmates and the local jazz musicians there; mostly about how to procrastinate. Jordan met his wife in a practice room during his studies and found out she was a classical musician so now he still has to play classical music sometimes when she plays violin. He stayed another year in the University to complete his MA in Jazz Performance.
After finishing up his Masters in Middlesex University, with lecturers who were more focused on their personal lives; he returned to Singapore. Jordan has a 1st Class Honours in BA Jazz and an MA Jazz postgraduate degree with Merit. But it probably doesn’t mean much to the jazz government in Singapore if you aren’t in their click because they are still gonna keep hiring their own people anyway. You dig?
Jordan is a freelance musician and music teacher and currently resides in Singapore. Apart from corporate events and weddings Jordan plays for, he sometimes composes and arranges for various instrumental ensembles from time to time, such as the Darryl Ervin Quartet, TENG Ensemble and Summertimes Big Band.
Jordan has recently formed “Jordan Wei and The Jazz Brotherhood”, which is a community of musicians he already plays and works with regularly; but was named out of necessity, as clients at various events were asking him what his band name was. Jordan thought that this band name would be much better than “3 random musicians”. He also thought that this bio would be way much shorter. He and his wife run the wedding live music company “wedding buddies“.
Jordan has recently played for The Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, David Tao, JJ Lin, Elva Hsiao, Guo Xing, Sharon Kwan and Ah Xing from Mayday.
People Jordan has worked with in Singapore:
Alan Broadbent, Alemay Fernandez, Andrew Lim, Brian Benson, Casey Subramaniam, Eddie Jansen, Eddie Sangcap, Ernesto Valerio, Goh Kheng Long, Jim Lim, JJ Lin, Johnny Gaerlan, John Wong, Louis Soliano, Marina Xavier, Mario Serio, Nadia Ali, Rani Singam, Richard Jackson, Shu Mei Yap, Tama Goh, Tan Boon Gee, Tay Kewei, Teo Boon Chye, Rizal Sanip, Rosanna Gaerlan, Shawn Letts, Steven Francis, Steven Rufus, William Gathright and others.
People Jordan has worked with in UK:
4 Kornerz, Alan Patrick of “The Drifters”, Anthony Galatis, Brown Music, Carl Harris, Femi Temowo, IZIT-U, Jeffery Wilson, Joshua Alamu, Kevin Rowe, Malcolm Edmonstone, Malcolm Miles, Miller ‘Skippo’ Bickson Luwoye, Paul Aaaron, Stuart Hall, The Andy Dickens Band, The Upper Room Jazz Group and others.