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About The Straits Ensemble

The Straits Ensemble is a musical collective that champions Singapore cultural music exchanges, influenced by the ever-changing global music landscape and jazz sensibilities.

With an instrumentation that embodies' Singapore's cultural sound, The Straits Ensemble navigates the rich tapestry of Singapore's heritage and taps on a global kampung spirit to celebrate diversity.

Playing a repertoire of original compositions, reminagined folk tunes and more, the ensemble's range of expression run from tender nuances to high energy, driving rhythms.

The Straits Ensemble is a group under Pasat Merdu, a non-profit organization focused on fostering intercultural understanding and uncovering the essence of the Singaporean Sound. Through education, commissions, presentations and promotion of new works, it aims to present this distinct sound to the world stage.


Navigating Possibilties Through Intercultural Music Exchange

18 June to 21 June 2024 (0900hrs-1900hrs, 21st June 1030hrs-2100hrs)

Register by 31 May 2359hrs

Venue: Singapore Poly

Cost: Free. Registration is required, limited to 200 pax.

Priority will be given to participants who are able to attend all 4 days of the music exchange

Roots and Routes is a four-day intercultural music exchange for youth and individuals interested in cultural music. Attendees will participate in workshops to explore various cultural music styles and their popular pieces. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to collaborate and showcase their talents in an intercultural ensemble context. The event will culminate in a concert on June 21st, marking the conclusion of this enriching music exchange experience.

1. Develop deeper understanding of the different types of cultural music found in Singapore

2. Learn to apply these ideas to your own practice

3. Connect and forge friendships with individuals who share an interest in cultural music traditions

4. Perform together with new friends and professional musicians

5. A platform for participants to exchange their musical traditions and aspirations

Past events

Sing Our Songs 13 Dec.jpg
The Straits Ensemble
"Sing Our Songs" Concert
Venue: Cool Cats at NCO Club Level 1
Time: 7pm -12am, first set at 8pm

Pasat Merdu will be presenting Modal Improvisation in World Music Workshop Series in Oct 2023. Participants will get to learn melodic, rhythm and improvisational aspects of contemporary North-Indian Classical, Turkish and Pan-Balkan Dance Music. Highly practical in-nature, these workshops are oriented to any music practitioner hoping to enhance holistic improvisational skills through the practice of modal music. 


The workshop will be conducted by Leonardo Gracia Fuenzalida who is an active studio musician and teaches in the Jazz and Contemporary music departments of the PSPBB artistic pole in Paris, France. 


23 Oct 2023 - Hindustani Rāga

24 Oct 2023 - Turkish Makam

25 Oct 2023 - Pan-Balkan Dance Music


Time: 7pm - 10pm

Venue: ByFormation Studio

Address: 122 Lor 23 Geylang, Level 2, Singapore 388404

Registration Fee: $60 per participant, per workshop


Register here

New Sights Fellowship Lecture

As part of their journey, the fellows of New Sights Fellowship Programme will be sharing what they have learnt over the past 7 months as well as insights into the compositional process of their latest works.

For those who missed the concert on 25 August 2023, we will be playing their compositions from the concert at 2:30pm.

Register here:


Crossing Borders - Connecting Islands

Collaboration concert with winner of Golden Melody Awards 2023 Taiwanese Hakka band, 山狗大 and vocalist Dawn Wong at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.

Date: 2 Sep 2023, Sat, 6.30pm, 7.45pm & 9pm

Venue: DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade









Exploring music, culture and roots, Taiwan’s San Geu Tai Band 山狗大後生樂團 and Singapore contemporary multi-ethnic group, The Straits Ensemble gather for their first in-person performance since the release of their original Hakka/English EP Connecting Islands 島嶼連結 in 2022.


Experience reimagined Hakka Mountain Songs 客家山歌 from San Geu Tai Band’s Golden Melody Award winning album 簷風謠, original Singapore folk compositions by The Straits Ensemble and be treated to contemporary Hakka/English tunes featuring Singaporean jazz vocalist Dawn Wong 黄川美.

Screenshot 2023-07-13 at

Join us for "New Sights," an intercultural concert premiering 6 new works by exceptional composers from the New Sights Fellowship Programme. With a focus on intercultural music, New Sights offers an opportunity to embark on a harmonious fusion and cultural voyage.


Over the course of the programme, the fellows visited several cultural sites hosted by our Teaching Artists and exchanged conversations with cultural arts groups and artists. Each composer fellow brings a unique perspective, drawing inspiration from diverse cultural backgrounds and weaving together threads of melodies, rhythms, and harmonies from our beloved Singapore.


We believe that art has the power to bridge cultural divides and foster understanding among people from different backgrounds. This concert embodies that spirit, creating a space where diverse cultures converge, intertwine, and inspire one another. You will witness the transformative power of intercultural collaboration. Musical boundaries dissolve, making room for new and exciting possibilities. The stage comes alive with The Straits Ensemble, crafting a vibrant tapestry of sound that resonates with the shared human experience.

Singapore Symphony Orchestra x The Straits Ensemble 

at the Temasek Foundation SSO National Day Concert 2023

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