China Daily European Weekly : 2018-11-30

Life : 21 : 21

Life

21 LIFE People | EUROPEAN WEEKLY November 30-December 6, 2018 CHINA DAILY opened in the summer of 2016, Cui has watched shows there, including some of the biggest jazz names in the world. “I am a big jazz music fan and some of my band members are jazz musicians. “I am open to different music genres because each of them gives me unique energy,” says Cui, adding how music from South Africa and Latin American has inspired him. His longtime band members include saxophonist Liu Yuan and bassist Liu Yue. Speaking about the shows, Cui says: “Rock, jazz and classical music, these three different music genres have influenced me. And I am excited to see how these music elements merge onstage and, most important, I want to see the reaction of the audience.” Commenting on Cui, Wu Jiajia, in charge of the performances by Chinese entertainers at Blue Note Beijing, says: “Cui has been pushing boundaries for a while now. For example, he performed with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and, this time, the audience will enjoy some of his rarely performed songs with fresh twists.” Cui, who was born to a musician father and a dancer mother, is a classically trained singer-songwriter who joined the Beijing Symphony Orchestra as a trumpet player in 1981, where he started to learn the guitar and formed a band with other classically trained musicians. Speaking about his life, Cui says: “I am lucky to be born into a family of artists. “My parents’ friends are all artists. So I talked to them, learned with them and I wanted to live a life like them. There was no other job than being a musician that was good enough for me,” he says. Cui has also starred in movies such as (2007), directed by award-winning filmmaker Jiang Wen. And he made his directorial debut in 2013 with which features his own music. Cui’s last album, was released in 2015. Regarded as his musical comeback, and 10 years after his album, it explores the theme of light, darkness and space with tracks such as and By CHEN NAN [email protected] W hen Cui Jian stepped onto the stage to perform at a concert at Beijing Workers’ Stadium in 1986, few Chinese knew what rock ’n’ roll was. At the packed venue, Cui, then 25, performed his original song ROCK STEADY BEAT Nothing to My Name. That song opened a chapter in China’s rock music story and marked the start of a journey that would eventually make Cui the country’s godfather of rock ’n’ roll. Now, more than 30 years later, the 57-year-old Cui, wearing his trademark white cap with a red star on it, is still on the road. On Dec 6 and 7, he will perform two shows along with his bandmates at Blue Note Beijing, the first Chinese branch of the Blue Note Jazz Club, the famous New York establishment. Unlike his shows at stadiums, theaters and outdoor music festivals across the country, which attract tens of thousands of people, Cui will offer an intimate live performance experience for his fans and perform his songs with new jazz arrangements. “We give many performances worldwide each year, and we want to do something different every year,” says Cui. “The two shows at Blue Note Beijing will have different repertoires. I don’t plan to perform some of my best-known hits, like Three decades later, China’s godfather of rock ’n’ roll is still on the road Nothing to My Name, Greenhouse Girl, False Monk Rock ’n’ Roll on the New Long March. and But maybe I will perform the songs if the audience requests them. I don’t know yet.” One of the songs he is going to perform, however, is which was featured on his 1998 album Cui rarely performs it because the song, which combines electronic music and rock, is demanding and the song is heavy and philosophical. “During the rehearsals, we rearranged the song by taking off electronic music elements, which gave the song a different dimension,” says Cui. “I am looking forward to sharing it with the audience.” The Blue Note was founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan in New York’s Greenwich Village. Many legendary jazz musicians, including Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck and Herbie Hancock, have performed on the Blue Note stage. Ever since Blue Note Beijing Another Space, The Power of the Powerless. The Sun Also Rises Blue Sky Bones, Frozen Light, Show Your Color, Fish Cool Melon and Bird, Outside Girl Tree. Speaking about his work, Cui says: “I am not a productive musician. That’s because for each song I write, I want to find the most accurate lyrics and melodies to express myself.” PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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