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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Shang Presents the Musicians Collective

Violinist Jo Bry Cimafranca and pianist Jesper Mercado brings back the music with their live performances at the Shangri-La Plaza for a better and brighter December for everyone. The Musicians Collective highlight's talented local artists who will serenade mall guests at the Grand Atrium during the holiday season. 

"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 was really very hard time for me as a musician and an artist," shares Jo Bry Cimafranca. He started playing the violin at a young age and has been a professional since 2005. He compares the sound of violin to human voices, and likes the colors and texture it produces. 

"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," Cimafranca added. 

As for Jesper Mercado, who has been playing the piano since age 6 and has been a professional pianist for the past 16 years, he likened 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," explained Mercado. "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." 

Ms. Joy Polloso, EVP at Shang Properties Inc., hopes that the Shangri-La Plaza Musicians Collective 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," said Polloso. "The Shangri-La Plaza Musicians Collective aims to help performing artists get back on their feet. Any 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. 


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