Mosaic Music Festival Highlights

From the inimitable Raul Midón to the cutting edge work of Aphex Twin and the soothing sounds of St Etienne, the fest is worth its weight in aural gold. Zul Andra picks out the top acts to catch in the lead up to the festival.
Want to know why Japanese jazz instrumental outfit Pe’z was called a “samurai jazz band” back when they first broke out on the streets of Shibuya in 2000? Check out their unique mishmash of jazz-funk, ska and punk at this high energy gig. Mar 11, 10pm. Esplanade Theatre Studio, $30-38.
Vocalese: A Double Bill by The Manhattan Transfer & New York Voices
Known for their breathtaking jazz and pop vocal renditions, witness not one but two award-winning vocal ensemble. Mar 11, 7:30pm. Esplanade Concert Hall, $40-120.
Tierney Sutton Band
Experience the way Tierney Sutton has grown as a singer with her band of 15 years in a spiritual evening of jazz as they play tunes off their latest album Desire. Mar 12, 7:30pm. Esplanade Recital Studio, $30.
Christian Prommer Drumlesson II
Drummer, DJ and producer Christian Prommer’s instrumental jazz covers of classic techno hits like Josh Wink’s “Higher State of Consciousness” are remarkable. Witness Prommer’s distinct sound marrying electronica, jazz and house in this exclusive showcase. Mar 12, 10pm. Esplanade Theatre Studio, $40-48.
The Bad Plus
The trio from America combines new-age jazz with rock and pop to create a high-octane performance promising to blow you off your feet. Mar 11, 9:30pm; Mar 13, 7:30pm. Esplanade Recital Studio, $40.
Fans of fast, wordless and angry music shouldn’t miss this Sheffield-based post-rock outfit in action. They will be performing songs off their latest album We Were Exploding Anyway. Mar 13, 7:30pm, 10pm. Esplanade Theatre Studio, $40-48.
Raul Midón
Emerging from a tough childhood to become of the most distinct musicians of our time, Midón mesmerizes with his inspiring vocals and impressive guitar work. Mar 14, 7:30pm. Esplanade Concert Hall, $40-80.
Angélique Kidjo
The charismatic performer has spread her rhythmic Afro-funk fusion to the four corners of the globe, picking up awards and Grammy nominations for works like her 2007 album Djin Djin. Mar 15, 7:30pm. Esplanade Concert Hall, $40-100.
The National
The Brooklyn-based band led by enigmatic frontman Matt Berninger has moved stages worldwide with their critically-acclaimed brand of indie rock and post-punk.
Ana Moura
Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura’s riveting voice is unlike anything you’ll ever hear, a rich and mesmeric blend of sorrow and beauty. Mar 16-17, 7:30pm. Esplanade Recital Studio, $30.
Immerse yourself in an evening of post-rock revelry as this experimental five-piece band takes the audience on a journey of myriad sounds, from heavy synths and throbbing bass lines to the din of crashing drums. Mar 17, 7:30pm. Esplanade Concert Hall,$40-80.
Jamie Lidell
Accompanied by his five-piece band, singer and songwriter Jamie Lidell will be reviving songs off albums like Multiply, Jim and Compass. Mar 18, 7:30pm. Esplanade Concert Hall, $40-80.
Joanna Newsom
Newsom’s unique voice, beautiful harp playing and string and trombone accompaniments make up the haunting atmosphere that typically surrounds her every performance. Mar 18, 11pm. Esplanade Concert Hall, $25-60.
Os Mutantes
Founded 35 years ago, the influential Brazilian psychedelic rock band led by original member Sérgio Dias Baptista will be dishing their unique tropicália sound and pop tunes. Mar 18, 7:30pm, 10pm. Esplanade Theatre Studio, $40-48.
Aphex Twin
Lauded as the most inventive electronic music producer of this generation, Richard David James aka Aphex Twin’s avant-garde soundscape is layered over contemporary genres like techno, dub and electronica. Mar 19, 11pm. Esplanade Theatre, $75-100.
Gotan Project
What happens when traditional tango music meets electronic beats and melodies? Answer: The Gotan Project. Expect sizzling tunes and sensuous moves. Mar 20, 8pm. Esplanade Theatre, $40-120.
Saint Etienne
The ever impressive trio has moved music scenes across genres and styles with their refined and organic production work. Find out more about the group in our exclusive interview.
Charlie Haden’s Quartet West
See upclose the iconic talent of this revolutionary double bassist as he performs live some of his groundbreaking works from albums like Haunted Heart and The Art of Song. Check out the interview here.
Mosaic Music Festival is on Mar 11-20. Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Dr., 6828-8377. Log onto for more information.