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Friday, October 17, 2003

Greg Waters Jazz News Letter

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.

Hi to all my new friends: This week started out really boring. (10th of October) However, it really turned into an exciting week after all. I only had one day booked and that was at The Shangri-la Hotel here in Shenzhen for the Toasts Master Event here in Shenzhen. Well, if you want personal self- improvement for your presentations in public this is the place to be. I never knew about this organization and if you live in Shenzhen and want to join and meet professional English speaking people this is the place to be. Contact Edwin Tian at 13088856397or Nina Nie at 13066930210 .

My review was your music sounded like water pouring out of a glass. It was real jazz not boring jazz where everything sounds the same. They introduced me as a world-class musician. I thought that was very nice and was very surprised how much notice they took of my music. Many times people do not really notice the music at such events. I performed with my CDs. (Tenor, Clarinet and Flute)

My point is when the music is professionally presented people really enjoy it no matter what kind of music it is.

Roger’s International Business Event at his Office here in Shenzhen

On Sunday, I went to Rogers business get together on International Trade. I met some people who heard me play six months ago in the park and they still remembered it. I guess I made an impression on them. It was nice to know that. We all need this appreciation for our work.

However, doing business on this level is very difficult especially for the small entrepreneur. We had a mixture of people from China and across the world. We came up with some excellent discussions on the reality of doing business. Big business has control of the situation mostly to make it short.

One needs a signed contract here in China. Word of mouth does not work here. Coming from the States, word of mouth was everything. I did not need contracts on many small jobs. No need for changing the amount of money, It was fixed before hand the employer kept their promise what ever it was. This is not to say we did not have problems in the USA. I was always paid, even in Mexico and that was a third world country. Although they had many other problems worse than China as I see it. They still paid. Here in China their word was broken so many times with me. Three times to be exact, they made promises they could not keep, the Symphony, The Dance Company and True Color Bar. I met a man in HK on the KCR and said they are just trying to steal as much money as they can.

To my friends and they all know this; even if you have a contract does not mean you will get paid here. I am mostly disappointed with the Local Jazz Bar they have no respect for my professionalism. Their whole object is to use people as much as they can and pay them slave wages while the owners drive around in a new BMW. I keep telling them (over and over again) what the problem is and they want to pay me 10% of what I ask for.

My point one has to be extremely careful here in China in doing business.

Now on to some good news and away from business reality

Hong Kong

This city is on an international level when it comes to music. When I walk into Hong Kong I feel like I am back in civilization when it comes to music. Every musician I meet there is educated, has skill, is friendly and has an appreciation for real music.

If you are in Hong Kong visit the Inter-Continental from 6 to 12 p.m. they have jazz.

Joel is the leader; say hi to him so he knows you are there to listen to the music and not there just to look at the view. They will perform on a higher level if they know you are listening. 10 minutes from the Star Ferry and Sim Sha Tsui on the MTR Red Line. I performed one set with them on Clarinet and Flute; we all had a great time. It is a great view of Hong Kong Island. (800-908-855) Phone

Later I went to a bar called Geckos: They have jazz on Wednesdays. What a great little place, It is so small, but that is what makes it so great everybody is on top of one another Jason is the leader and piano player from what I could tell. I just met everybody that night. They let me play the whole night and even paid me and introduced me as part of the band.

If you want to get back to Shenzhen late in the morning you have to take the N121 Bus from Central Station to across the tunnel. Then take the bus to the Shenzhen Bus Stop near Prince Edward Subway Stop, which is bus N122. Then take the Shenzhen Bus to Shenzhen. Then take a taxi home. It is about 120 HK all together with taxi.

I got home at 5.30 a.m. This was because I did not know what I was doing and I was walking around for a long time. I was completely lost, but I asked a few questions and found my way home.

All Rights Resevered 2003 (for personal use only not for commercial publications)

Greg Henry Waters

Shenzhen, China (86 755) 8353 2883 Mobile Phone 13510896962


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