Home » News & Articles » 2024 » Quasar, with keyboardist James Wang (KC 2020), wins University’s band competition

Quasar, with keyboardist James Wang (KC 2020), wins University’s band competition

Quasar was crowned the winner of this year’s Take it to the Bridge band competition at the Cambridge Junction on Friday 1 March.

Quasar, East Street on a Tit, Temor and Soft Crunchy Landing are the four bands made up of 22 students from 10 Cambridge colleges that performed at the grand finale of Take it to the Bridge, the University of Cambridge’s band competition.

In an evening of exceptional performances the originality of Quasar’s arrangements and the band’s authenticity, charismatic stage presence and engagement with the audience won over the judging panel, which included Matt Fincham (Music Editor, BBC Radio 1), Frazer Robinson (Co-Founder and Head of Programming, Cambridge Club Festival) and Ros Russell (Director, Cambridge Jazz Festival). 500 audience members packed the Cambridge Junction and participated in a live poll which played a crucial role in deciding the winner. 

As the winner of this year’s event, Quasar has now claimed a slot on the main stage at the Cambridge Club Festival as part of a lineup of world-renowned artists including Chaka Khan, Sister Sledge, Melanie C, and Jessie Ware.

James Wang, King’s student (Medicine) and Quasar’s keyboardist, said:

I am so proud of us as a band for what we managed to create over a few months. After our first rehearsal I remember leaving with a good feeling, thinking that we had potential as a band. Every member brings their own ingredient (to quote Vince, one of our rappers) and we manage to create a live outfit that stands between hip-hop, jazz, rap, RnB, house, pop and soul.

I am incredibly grateful for coming to be part of the band. Cambridge is small enough that I was lucky to know the keyboardist before me, Felix. The friends who I meet through the jazz scene keep my musical life going outside of my studies. In College I also sing with King’s Voices and the KCMS invited me to play Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at their Lent term concert.

East Street on a Tit, another band selected for this year’s Take if to the Bridge final, also features two King’s students: trombonist Adam Howell (2nd year, Music) and singer Mahalia Nesbeth Bain (2nd year Theology).  


The Take it to the Bridge competition, now in its second year, is the brainchild of the University’s Centre for Music Performance, a department of the University which enables students, staff and local residents to make music in all its forms a part of life at Cambridge. The competition celebrates excellence in popular music within the University.


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