GREG HENRY WATERS NEWSLETTER
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Objective: This newsletter came out of my experiences dealing in a new culture and a new history. 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.
Jazz News from Greg Henry Waters in Shenzhen
Well, friends, last week has been an interesting week for me in the jazz world here in Shenzhen.
Harvey and Russell (PortSide Jazz Club) (It is now a rock bar) (No music culture in Shenzhen) are going through a renovation at their bar so my performance will be suspended for three or four weeks. But they will be coming back especially when the Ming Ship opens for business and that space gets cleaned up from the construction around their business. The Ming Ship will open in three or four months so they said.
I was invited (by Hans, the owner) of a local bar the other night and heard a singer from Shanghai, COCO, with a very good piano player and electric bass player. They knew many songs and performed in the traditional style. COCO was even developing his own sound and style. I performed one set with COCO. I thought it was very nice we had some musical special moments which I was surprised about because it was the first time in China that I performed with professional jazz musicians. Later we had a jam session with the tenor and trumpet player. I performed clarinet and flute later on. Although my flute is not working very well I performed with it anyway because I like the instrument. I got it working better today so hope fully my performances on flute will be better.
Suby sang with her out going personality and sang some very pretty Chinese Songs which I enjoyed. Kevin played tenor and was very professional and swinging. They had a trumpet player from Beijing had some nice solos too. He just needs to perform more.
COCO and Suby sang a few songs together and it was very nice and friendly too. Anyway, it was a traditional evening of jazz, the first time I performed real jazz with other musicians. It was an evening of jazz and not an evening of dinner music jazz. Although they still had Diane Krall singing during the breaks on the sound system.
I was in HK on Wednesday and met a nice jazz quartet at a Hotel in Kowloon. (No Singer) It had trumpet, guitar, electric bass and drums. Of course it was not a New York Band, but only New York can produce bands like they do, so many musicians from all over the world go there. The HK band, they were very professional in their own way, but I could see the hotel was putting pressure on them to perform hotel jazz and not real jazz.
The trumpet player said that he wanted to go to New York and study music there. I think that would be a good idea for him every jazz musician should study in NYC for a while to learn what it is about. It is a place to learn about music but it is not a place to learn about being creative. This is why I left NYC no reason for me to be there because it was all about the music business not about being creative. This is why I do not miss it. I can be creative with my computer music program I do not need musicians really if I want to produce something creative for myself.
I am hoping one day I can perform with my nine piece band with Trumpet, Alto, Tenor and Trombone plus rhythm. I found a trombone and trumpet in HK and with Kevin we have a horn section. We only need a job and some rehearsals to make it all happen. I asked the trumpet player, are there any big bands in HK? He said no. This is very sad for jazz in this area! The big band is the foundation of all traditional jazz and harmony.
Although the Big Band is economically difficult it is so important to keep the tradition of jazz alive just like the symphony orchestra is important to keep classical music alive and well.
I was reading an article about Barry Harris and he said jazz does not have a voice on TV we are still an underground art form. It is so true and so sad for all us musicians who love jazz.
There are some big concerts coming to HK if you want to hear some top flight groups you can visit here to get the info. http://www.lcsd.gov.hk
I saw HK Island at night. What a view that was to see HK at night a truly magic city at night.
Soon I might be starting a four night a week gig in a club if we can work out the details. So I will have a study job and play what I think is real jazz and what is suitable for the room. The owner said that he wanted me to perform modern jazz. This is hard to believe, but we will see if it comes true. I will be performing with my CD’s I have created for this purpose. They have a great sound system and it (is a beautiful room that) sits about 200. What I mean is, I have my own sound and ideas in my solos I do not copy that much of other musicians styles. Maybe I can even perform some completely original music some nights.
Let me know if you want to be off my mailing list and let me know if you have friends who would be interested in my jazz newsletter.
Greg Henry Waters
Composer, Conductor and Performer of Instrumental Music
All Rights Resevered 2003 (for personal use only not for commercial publications)
Greg Henry Waters
Shenzhen, China (86 755) 8353 2883 Mobile Phone 13510896962
Personal Site http://greghenrywaters.com
Non-profit site http://cmporg.org