From May 26th to 31st, the 2023 Taihu Jazz Festival will be held at the Taihu Open-air Theatre of the NCPA, Tongzhou District, Beijing. 12 jazz bands and more than 100 jazz musicians from at home and abroad will gather to bring a feast of diverse styles and forms of jazz, featuring Chinese folk jazz commissions and world jazz classics. On May 15th, the press conference of the festival was held with guests and artists from the NCPA, Tongzhou District, art institutions and supporting organizations.
Press Conference of the 2023 Taihu Jazz Festival
Since its inception in 2021, the “Taihu Jazz Festival” has become an important art festival for the Taihu Stage Art Centre, and Taihu Town has emerged as a new landmark for music lovers.
The 2023 Taihu Jazz Festival features a number of jazz commissions and adaptions of Chinese folk songs. Classics, including Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon, A Lovely Rose and Kangding Love Song, will be interpreted anew as jazz. Traditional Chinese instrumentalists, including KONG Hongwei and FENG Mantian, will showcase an amazing combination of traditional Chinese culture and jazz through the fusion of folk and electro-acoustic instruments. While highlighting Chinese national elements, the festival will also incorporate more international elements, inviting jazz greats from the United States, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Mauritius to render classic jazz works from around the world.
This year’s festival is the first open-air music festival in China to use “outdoor immersive Dolby Atmos” technology, which enhances the sound field of outdoor performances, expands the best area for the audience to enjoy the music and upgrades the listening experience. The festival includes a variety of stage lighting effects to complement performances, creating a double audio-visual experience.
LI Jin, a leader of the NCPA and Director of the Artisitc Creation Centre
LI Jin, a leader of the NCPA and Director of the Artistic Creation Centre, said, “This year is the third Taihu Jazz Festival. We adhere to the high standard, high quality and broad vision, striving to create a fete of jazz by integrating jazz with our national music. This year’s festival focuses on the fusion of art and technology, building an immersive audio-visual atmosphere throughout via Dolby Atmos, hoping to usher in different audio-visual enjoyments for our audience.”
DAI Yingchun, Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Tongzhou District Party Committee
DAI Yingchun, Deputy Head of the Publicity Department of the Tongzhou District Party Committee, said that Taihu Town is a pearl of performing arts in the sub-centre of Beijing. The Taihu Jazz Festival, a distinctive brand event of Taihu Town, will last for a week this year. The general public is welcome to experience the vibrant cultural tourism developed in the sub-centre of the city.
On May 26th, the CMA All-star Jazz Big Band of Beijing Contemporary Music Academy will kick off the 2023 Taihu Jazz Music Festival. Japanese jazz pianist Makoto Ozone will deliver his debut at the festival with his Jazz Quartet to render commissions including The Beginning and Asian Dream.
As one of the largest-scale and most musically expressive forms of jazz performance, the Big Band combines the casualness of jazz with the symphonic nature of a large-scale orchestra. Many other jazz big bands will perform on May 27th and 28th, including one from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the other one from the School of Popular Music, Sichuan Conservatory of Music.
The festival has invited a wide range of jazz musicians from several countries to present the jazz culture of their motherlands to Chinese audiences with their works. On May 28th and 30th, Chinese musicians represented by FENG Mantian, KONG Hongwei, GU Feng and LUO Ning will perform works full of Chinese cultural symbols, including Bringing the Wine, Lisao, The Silk Road, and Xintianyou.
The festival lowers the curtain on May 31st with the debut of Abu, a young Chinese jazz pianist, who will deliver a jazz trio with a variety of musical elements. The Los Amigos Latin Jazz Band will return to the stage with jazz compositions that combine various Latin musical elements.
It is worth mentioning that the performance on the evening of May 27th will be live-streamed on many online platforms, including the NCPA Classical Channel to share the freedom, spirituality and romance of jazz music with netizens.
Photos by ZHANG Yinsheng