Friday, April 22, 2011

WVC TRiO +1 2011 Grand Tour

All right, it's time WVC TRiO +1 goes on tour again. This time due to time constraint, we are only playing three performances in Malaysia: April 19th at Geographer Melaka (which featured Winnie Ho on vocal, Benjamin Lee on Saxophones. It went really really well, Thanks Peter! ) April 22nd at Nero Fico in Bukit Damansara, and April 23rd at No Black Tie in Kuala Lumpur.
On April 24th we will be flying to Tianjin, hop on the fastest train ever from Tianjin to Beijing, and play that night at the ever popular jazz joint in Beijing, The East Shore 东岸, owned by famous Saxophonist from the Chinese jazz and rock scene 刘元. He used to be the musicians for 崔健, very big name. Anyway, I've been to The East Shore many years ago, and it leaked of jazz vibe, which is quite rare in China, mind you.

After  that, we will be giving masterclasses, lessons and also performance at the Tianijn Music Conservatory. This is the fifth time I've been there, many old friends, and familiar setting. We are inviting a singer to join us for this concert, awesome. The performance would be on April 28th.

We are flying to Nanjing after that, reach there by April 29th, and perform that night. The venue is at Don Quixote, which we've played at the original address last year, kind of a happening dive in Nanjing expat scene. The piano was out of tune the instant I laid my fingers on it, very very fragile (part of the reason was, the giant heater was behind the piano blasting out hot air all the time, it was early spring after all). This time we will be playing at the new branch of Don Quixote, looking forward to it! Also the nice home cooking the owner's aunt treated us.

After Nanjing we will head to Wuxi, playing at the same place we played last year, 北仓门艺术中心。I have to say, in recent years, China has been developing quite an art scene that, there are some pocket of areas in many cities that are developed into some surprisingly pleasant and classy art colonies. This particular place in Wuxi is just like that. In my memory, other part of the town is chaotic, the sky is gray and drivers very very impatient (which is really quite apt in describing many many other cities in China). But this particular art colony ,tucked behind an alley facing the river,  is quite pleasant. But the equipments are a bit funky. We had good time playing there, thus am looking forward to this place again. Also what really made this city so memorable is the people. Organizer Gugu is a reporter for his daytime job, but is very enthusiastic music lover. Looking forward to meet him too!

Suzhou's Mofun Loft 魔方, which we played  last year as well, is really really artsy fartsy. I remember the time we were doing sound check, in the other corner, there were some girls in cosplay costume of Japanese manga (the hair was green no less) were having a photo shoot. Funky. The whole vibe is really lay back, and what's more, we had our good friends 杨晨and his wife 陈安忆 around, brought us to nice places around the city, and had wonderful meal (wonton skin in soup, amazing noodles). The number of audience was not very encouraging though, but the organizer was keen on having us back, thus we are back this year again! Adam had to put up with no hi hat for most of the evening, for the chain link of the hi hat broke off during our second tune.

After Suzhou, we will take two days break in Shanghai. Last year we were fortunate enough to play in the JZ club, premium jazz club in Shanghai, or should I say China. The performance was great, and the vibe, the audience was great. Adam spent all the money we made that night drinking whiskey, no no no. This year, due to the May 1st big holiday, the JZ club wants a band that features singer which would pull in more crowd, I supposed (same situation all over the world, singer would pull in more crowd, even when they just sing LOVE verbatim) I think we will be spending time with 杨晨 couple, as last time they brought us to some amazingly delicious Shanghai cuisine. No joke, it was so good that I was willing to make a joke out of myself eating that heavenly pork.

This time we will be visiting a new city, Changsha 长沙。I've no idea where we are playing, but hopefully it is good.

Then we will head to Guangzhou, Foshan 佛山, Shenzhen. Then one of the highlights of this tour is the concert in Macau. This is supported by the Macau Jazz society, and I can't wait to play at the beautiful environment that would be used as the performance space. It is a European feel city square, with fountain nearby, no less.

After Macau we will be flying to Bangkok for two more nights of gigs.

I guess I will write more when I come back then.
Bon Voyage

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