Thursday, August 04, 2005

Jazz in China?


I just got off the phone with a listener and friend who is moving to China for a couple of years to take a job teaching there, and the subject of jazz came up. I realized then that I had never really heard much about jazz in China! We all know about the thriving European jazz scene, the one in South Africa, of course Japan and South Korea, even Russia, India and Australia - but China, no I can honestly say that I have never heard any jazz from China, nor of any Chinese jazz musicians. So a Google search was in order, and quite promptly, here are some links of interest-

CNN on jazz in Shanghai
All About Jazz on Chinese Jazz
Hong Kong Jazz Association

Given the huge population of China, it's rapid westernization, and inklings of democracy, I would not be surprised to see the Chinese jazz scene not only grow internally, but to eventually become a major part of the international jazz community. Jazz musicians are always looking at new places to play, new ways to innovate, and new audiences to support jazz, and perhaps China is the next place to take jazz in a new direction? I think it would be great to see major American and European jazz stars expose Chinese audiences to jazz at the highest level, and vice versa as well. It would certainly be a worthy diplomatic effort, as the State Department sponsored tours of major jazz artists (Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band, Dave Brubeck's quartet, etc) were back in the 50's and 60's.

Perhaps some readers out there who have some knowledge of the Chinese jazz scene can provide further comments?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Devra Hall said...

"Jazz came to China for the first time on the afternoon of June 2, 1981,..." Read more at http://www.devradowrite.com/?p=96

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Noreen Jackson said...

Jazz singer Yevette Stewart went to Shanghai last year and said it was booming! Still not enough to recover real jazz. Europe has its own artists now that surpass most of the US artists.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Politius said...

if you're interested to know more, my name is Terry Hsieh, I'm a musician who is pretty involved in the Chinese jazz scene. I just got back from a 1 month tour with the major players on the scene. I can be reached at thsieh at oberlin dot edu

12:31 PM  
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