violinist Jo Bry Cimafranca
Shangri-La Plaza, a keen supporter of the arts, is safely bringing back music and live performances in celebration of a better and brighter December for everyone. It has brought together the Musicians Coĺlective that’s meant to showcase talented local artists who will serenade mall guests at the Grand Atrium over the holidays.
Shang is featuring two main acts this December: violinist Jo Bry Cimafranca and pianist Jesper Mercado.
Cimafranca has started playing the violin at the age of 9, and has been a professional since 2005. He said he likes the violin because of the colors and texture it produces, and its timbre that reminds him of the human voice.
“My music life basically stopped when the pandemic started, so I had to get another job. I got into online data entry, reselling face shields, and online baking selling. It has really been a very hard time for me as a musician and an artist,” Cimafranca shares.
“I am very grateful to Shang for giving me this opportunity to perform again. I have always loved performing at Shang, and this chance of being able to express myself again through music has made me more hopeful of what’s ahead.”
Mercado, meanwhile, has been playing the piano since he was 6 and received proper training only two years after. Now a professional musician for 16 years, he likened playing the piano to interacting and playing games with other children.
“I’ve been offering piano lessons online, both local and international. I’ve also been doing some commissioned works like musical arrangements and piano recordings. In addition, I took online classes such as film scoring with the award-winning film composer Nonong Buencamino, and music arrangement and composition lessons from our National Artist for Music, Ryan Cayabyab,” Mercado narrates.
“I’m quite excited to perform and be back in Shang again during this festive time of the year since I consider it my home for several years now. I had been performing here with choral groups and orchestras way before the pandemic.”
Joy R. Polloso, Executive Vice President at Shang Properties Inc., hopes that the Shangri-La Plaza Musicians Coĺlective can continuously give artists like Cimafranca and Mercado a platform to pursue their passion and also bring more joy to the season with their talent and music.
“The pandemic has affected the lives of many, but among those who suffered the most are performing artists. They lost their livelihood in a snap and had to quickly recalibrate their lives to the uncertainties of the future,” she points out. “The Shangri-La Plaza Musicians Collective aims to help performing artists get back on their feet. And by giving them a space to showcase their talent, we’re also filling the Shang halls with live music—something that all of us have surely missed in this pandemic.”
This #ShangHoliday2021, feel the holiday spirit and catch Cimafranca play classic Christmas tunes on December 24 and Mercado hit the keys with jazzy Christmas songs and Filipino carols on December 10 and 22.
For inquiries, call 8-370-2597/98 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial. Follow the Shang on Instagram: @shangrilaplazaofficial.