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New York, NY, Shenzhen, China and Hong Kong, HK     April 2004

   Music/Jazz/Opinion/Comments/Business for your comments


Objective:  This newsletter came out of my experiences dealing in a new culture and a new history plus my experiences in the USA and Canada. The purpose of the newsletter is to provoke serious thought about musical art.  What is it? Where should it be going?  In addition, what is going on in China?  I write about my personal experiences and my thoughts about them. My music is here.  Am I really who I say I am.  The proof is here just listening. 50 Songs to listen to!



HOLIDAY Media March 26, 2004 Shen Zhen     >>> for copies write.


1984 by Orwell:  This book is a great novel according to many critics and the public.  “All it is this book is one big complaint.” Greg Henry Waters

Music News

 Clubs in New York City: Since my friend Paul passed away I went on the net to look up Paul’s Friends and let them know about Paul.  I saw such an increase in Jazz Clubs there must be 60 jazz clubs in New York City with so many new bands from all over the world.  Here is a view point from one of my friends here in China.


Note from Steve: I wonder how many of those NY clubs are for real. I heard some good music the last time I was in Chicago, but wasted my time by first going to some "famous" ("famous" is "famous" word in China. Everything here is either "famous" or "delicious" or "beautiful" when, unfortunately, nothing is famous, delicious or beautiful) where the people were playing the same stuff they were playing in the 1950s and the audience was looking around to see what celebrities were there). The better clubs were often on the Southside, or in little cubby holes. My favorite was a joint that was owned by a lady who played a mean piano, and on Friday night she hosted vocalist and on Saturday night she had a quintet. On the door of her basement club was a sign that said, "real fun music" and it was.  Steve D.

Culture is hard to find is the point. Greg H Waters  Clare Fischer is still producing real music and music for woodwinds.  He is the only one I know who composes for clarinet ensemble in a jazz style. Visit his site for the latest news of one of America’s all time jazz arrangers and composers. 


Also write Dan ( or visit for the latest in jazz improvisation educational books and classes on the internet. 


Continue the serious on Culture: Notes from Steve


cul·ture (k¾l"chr) n. 1.a. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. b. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population. c. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression. 2. Intellectual and artistic activity, and the works produced by it. 3.a. Development of the intellect through training or education. b. Enlightenment resulting from such training or education. 4. A high degree of taste and refinement formed by aesthetic and intellectual training. 5. Special training and development.

Steve looking for Culture:

“I just want a situation where I am free to enjoy people without worrying when they are going to take advantage of me. It is not a cultural difference, it is a legal one. The United States has some very real problems, but its system of law is the finest in the world -- and that from a guy who was screwed twice in court. I lost big time in both a divorce proceeding and a bankruptcy proceeding, but my two extended tours outside the states -- to Mexico and China -- have shown me the problems that exists when laws do not exist or are not enforced or are enforced when the powers that be need to enforce them against a specific individual. Everybody is running around Shenzhen trying to be an agent, for music, for English teachers, for export businesses, etc., but I do not see any licenses. This country seems be run on "seals" but the rich folk don't need 'em. You said once you lost work because you didn't have a work permit. So tell me, how many people do you know, besides me who have a "Z" (working permit) visa.

   Here is how ludicrous it gets. I needed to change some money last month to send to daughter in the states so I went to the Bank of China, but the bank of China wouldn't do it because I did not have income tax receipts. They finally found somebody who spoke English who explained the situation to me, and she suggested I go to Shekou and ask around until I found a money changer. I pointed out that she was suggesting that I break Chinese law, but this did not faze her at all.

    I heard a story from another teacher here about yet another teacher who was leaving the country but had her purse stolen, with all her documents in it. It took the officials four months to determine that she had been in the country legally before she could leave. The American consulate in Guangzhou seems to be about as bad. I saw an American woman there who lost her passport and was not allowed to re-enter Shenzhen, and the response she drew was "uh hum?"”


Steve looking for real music in Shenzhen.

As for the music "scene," my god, there's more music in Albuquerque, NM, and what is here is. . .well, you already are well aware of the short comings. But the short comings are built into both the system and the mentality. Ex pats come here and buy right into the system. William Faulkner once pointed out that a gentleman is responsible not only for his actions, but those he acquiesces to, and the ex-pats I have met in Shenzhen are the type of people who know nothing about English but will teach it because they can talk it, and if they are musicians, are willing to play the computerized drivel that puts them at the same level of Pilipino bands. I have always been aware that it is very possible to change the world because if you help one person reach a bonafide goal, you have changed the world. But I do not think it is possible to change Shenzhen. About the best anybody here can do is not get corrupted by it.

Everyday Life in Shenzhen as an English Teacher by Steve

I had two calls this week to teach for low pay or no pay, and, as you know, whenever you do anything here there is a question as to whether you will get paid. I really want a very simple life where I have enough money to meet my needs and my wife's needs, and a work load that is not insane. I believe I am a good teacher, but you can't do much with a room with 62 students, no matter what their native language is. These young people will not learn English, but they will get jobs teaching English, and the problem just perpetuates itself -- I have no answers. I am not sure whether they cannot or will not change the system.

Keeping to myself by Steve

I don't go out much, but I have been in about a half a dozen little clubs that would make great venues for live music, but the owners aren't interested. What they are interested in is selling stuff four or five times what it should cost for the people foolish enough to walk in or to the wealthy elite who form the conspicuous consumption portion of Shenzhen, and those guys don't give a damn what things costs. They are beyond it.

Music Culture in China

   One Chinese writer said that the Chinese taste for music was pretty well ruined by the simplistic songs popularized during the cultural-revolution -- they moved quite easily from that to the Back Street Boys and Bobby G, or whatever. Of late I have been reading several dated books, published in the mid-90s, that give a clear idea of where the country is going. It is basically moving from the Jihad of the Cultural Revolution to MacWorld, and there is little room in either for honesty, art, music. Hong pointed out to me that Americans tend to be concerned with the ideas of "right: and "rights" while Chinese are concerned only with power, following the lead of the present American administration.

I hope these words can take us away from our everyday problems and bring us into a state of real enjoyable thinking.

 Greg Henry Waters

Artist of Music and Raja Yoga Master



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