- QUINCY JONES
"You won't believe your eyes nor your ears, he belies all stereotypes, all premonitions. I was simply blown away by both his soul and his science -- his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding."
Shun Ng is an award-winning fingerstyle guitar virtuoso, singer and songwriter, known for his unique style which infuses elements of Soul, Funk, Blues and Jazz. Shun dazzles audiences from all over the world with his flamboyant technique, soulful vocals and hypnotic groove. He stands as one of the most dynamic and innovative performers, winning accolades from legendary producer, Quincy Jones to fellow guitar virtuoso, Tuck Andress.
Ng was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Singapore. Ng grew up in a non-musical family in Singapore and struggled in the rigid and academic-driven education system. At age 8, Ng was diagnosed with dyslexia and faced challenges with reading, languages and mathematics throughout his educational career and was constantly deemed lazy or a failure by his teachers. He turned to gymnastics and competed nationally at the age of 10. When Shun was 14, a gymnastics teammate brought in a guitar to the gym. Ng left the team and quit gymnastics in the next few days.
For his 14th Christmas, his father bought him a guitar and as his passion grew, Shun finally found a language to understand the world – music. While letters and numbers didn’t make much sense, music did. He began diving deeper into the world of music through The Blues. He meticulously studied the legends of the blues world, honing his guitar skills by trading licks with Blues headliners in the legendary Chicago blues bars, dedicating his entire life to the spirit of the music.
Ng was mentored by Singaporean composer and Cultural Medalion winner, Dr. Kelly Tang. Ng decided to leave the traditional high school system at 16, hoping to pursue an Associates Degree in Music & Audio Technology at Singapore Polytechnic, but failed to meet the school’s academic requirements and could not apply.Furthermore, the school had already selected their cohort of 42 students for that year. Through a letter of recommendation from Dr. Kelly Tang, the school agreed to audition Shun. After the audition, the admissions committee decided to open a 43rd place for him.
It was during this time that Shun dedicated all his time and energy into discovering his own musical voice. He explored & studied many different genres like Blues, European Classical, Jazz, Funk, Motown & Soul. One day he was challenged by a friend to play all the parts of the famous Michael Jackson song “Billie Jean” simultaneously on the guitar. That challenge sparked an exploration of the endless possibilities of the acoustic guitar and he began pushing the boundaries of techniques and what just one acoustic guitar could produce.
After attaining his associate’s degree in Music & Audio Technology, Shun served his mandatory National Service and went into the Singapore Armed Forces where he spent two years working as an arranger and band guitarist for the combo band. In these two years he began woodshedding and translating the sounds he had in his head to the guitar. As Shun’s style developed, he caught the attention of Malaysian Luthier, Jeffery Yong. Ng & Yong began working on a signature model and built various guitars to be exhibited at guitar festivals around the world. Yong invited him to endorse and perform his guitars at international guitar festivals such as the Montreal Guitar Show, Osaka Guitar Show and the Singapore Guitar Show.
In January 2012, Shun released his debut album “Funky Thumb Stuff” which garnered him national recognition. In that same year, Shun was featured twice in the Asian news network, Channel News Asia and was also invited to perform for the President of Singapore on national television. Later that year, Shun was featured alongside other internationally renowned Jazz artists, such as Carmen Bradford (Count Basie Band) and Michael Paulo (Al Jarreau), at Singapore's own, King of Swing, Jeremy Monteiro's Jazzy Christmas concert series. “Funky Thumb Stuff” also came into the attention of veteran Fingerstyle Guitarist, Tuck Andress of Tuck & Patti, who said he was “dazzled by his technique and captivated by his guitar groove” and went on to describe Shun’s singing as “well beyond his years yet with the innocence of a child.” In that same year, Shun was accepted to Berklee College of Music and awarded a scholarship from the college.
In his second semester, he was selected to be on Berklee’s prestigious Artist Diploma, which is a highly selective, two-year individualized program of study designed to provide the highest level of training for musicians who have already distinguished themselves through advanced study and/or have established a promising career in music.
During his first year in Boston, he attracted the attention of Boston Manager, Ralph Jaccodine. Shun performed his first show in the United States, sharing the bill with some of Boston’s finest acts one of whom was New-England legend, Livingston Taylor who said of him “Shun is amazing, his talent rest on a rock-solid work ethic and the results are pure WOW!”
Shun left Berklee after two semesters and signed with Ralph Jaccodine Management. That year, he was listed in "The Top 10 Local Acts that Rock" by the Improper Bostonian.
In May 2013, Shun released the video, "Get On With It". The video soon after came to the attention of 27-time Grammy award winning producer Quincy Jones. Jones then invited Shun to his home in Los Angeles where Shun performed for him in his living room and received high praise from the producer, “When you see Shun, you won't believe your eyes nor your ears -- he belies all stereotypes, all premonitions. I was simply blown away by both his soul and his science -- his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding."
Quincy Jones presented Ng at his "Quincy Jones Presents" Series. The sold out concert was held at the Eli Broad stage in Santa Monica.
That same year, Shun also caught the attention of founding member of the J. Geils Band and legendary harmonica player, Magic Dick. The duo released a video of their take on the James Brown classic, "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". They have toured together and performed alongside blues greats like Buddy Guy, Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise this October. The Duo also performed at the Beale St Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee and shared the bill with various acts like, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Jason Derulo and Los Lobos.
Ng is a 4-time Boston Music Award nominee and in 2015, won the "International Artist of The Year" at the 2015 Boston Music Awards.
In 2016, the Songwriter's Hall of Fame awarded Ng the Holly Prize. The award was presented to Ng by Grammy winning British producer, Peter Asher.
After releasing his own solo arrangement of "Bohemian Rhapsody", Ng's performance was share by Queen's guitarist and founding member, Brian May, who tweeted it to his fans, saying "Amazing new solo and acoustic vocal arrangement of Bo Rap! You gotta see!"
Ng is also very passionate about social justice, his began getting involved in social work at the age of 8 when he went to the slums in Hyderabad, India for mission work. In 2011 he released a Christmas album with all of the proceeds going towards financially supporting college fees of the members from the Lahu Tribe in Chiang Rai, Thailand. He currently serves as the Director of Music at The Amber Initiative, a non-profit organization that deals with issues of social injustices around the world. He also works closely with the Next Step Organization's program, SongStudio, who's mission is to empower young people with life-threatening illnesses to envision positive futures, develop strong coping skills, and share their experiences through music.