Greetings from Shanghai!
We’re here to stay overnight before we head out to Suzhou tomorrow to play at the Suzhou Mofun Loft 2. And without fail, we got to meet up with Cher Siang’s old friend, Yang Chen, again. SInce it’s our off-day, Yang Chen is taking us out tonight to watch Roberta Gambarini, a great singer that has worked with the late James Moody, Jimmy Heath, among others. So we’re looking forward to that.
Anyway, just a little epilogue on our Tianjin stop:
We got to perform another showcase last night, at Nankai University, with the Tianjin Conservatory Youth Jazz Orchestra, conducted and led by UMKC’s Joe Parisi. We also got to do a short set of four songs – two with Joe and another two with just the quartet. With Joe, we performed “Body and Soul” and Bennie Moten’s “Moten Swing”. It was such a refresher to listen (and play alongside) a trumpet player that has deep knowledge of the tradition (with Joe being from Kansas City, Missouri). I’ve learned a lot over the last few days, just from that.
The Tianjin Youth Jazz Orchestra was also something that was inspiring to watch. To see them grow so quickly with just over three days of training with Joe Parisi, was really something. And this is coming from a country that doesn’t have a deep concept on what this music is all about – and to see how hungry they were for the experience and the exposure. I’ve seen some of the students improve so much, and one of them I have to admit is kicking my ass!! Gotta get working harder, Julian!!!! I wish I could stay a little longer to share any kind of experience and knowledge that I have, with them. But I’m pretty sure we’ll get to meet and share stuff again.
Alright, more on our Shanghai leg of the tour later. Until then, see y’all later!