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Jacintha

Jacintha - vocalist

Jacintha Abisheganaden, was born on 3 October 1957, in Singapore, Malaysia. Jacintha's Chinese mother sang and played the piano and her Sri Lankan father played classical guitar and was also interested in jazz guitar. She studied piano and voice from her early teens and also sang in the Singapore Youth Choir. After winning a local television talent contest, Talentime, she attended the National University of Singapore, graduating with an honors degree in English, and then went to America where she studied creative writing at Harvard University. Jacintha remained in the USA for a little while, including a spell in Hawaii where she formed her own band. Back in Singapore, she developed a career in the theatre, playing dramatic and musical roles.

Jacintha made several albums that did not reach far outside of Singapore, including “Jacintha,” (1983) “Tropicana,” (1987) and “Dramamama.” (1991) During the 90s she also worked in duo with the composer Dick Lee, to whom she was married from 1992-97. The couple had first met in the 70s when both were members of the Singapore Youth Choir and he later worked as composer and/or producer on her 80s albums. In the 90s she starred in his first Asian operetta, Nagaland, and played leading roles in several stage shows, including a Singapore production of Cats.

By now, fully established as a singer and actress in Singapore, Jacintha began to attract wider attention. She broke into the US scene through personal appearances and a pair of well-received jazz albums for Groove Note Records in the late 90s. On one, “Here's To Ben,” (’99) she paid tribute to tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, while “Autumn Leaves,” (2000) was devoted to the lyrical genius of Johnny Mercer. For these recording sessions she was teamed with top-flight jazz players, including Teddy Edwards.

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