The Artist's Biography
The Excellent Artist Quyen Van Minh was born and brought up in a family with a fine musical tradition. His father was an amateur guitarist and saxophonist. His mother, a singer with a wonderful alto, had to sacrifice her artistic career under harsh living conditions to cater for her four kids. As compensation, she transferred her love for music to her children, which had a special impact on Minh’s life.
As a child, Minh made his first steps towards music through the guitar. In 1969, he began to try the clarinet on his mother’s advice. “The sounds that come from your breaths, close to your heart, will bring good things to life and your own being,” she said. Inspired by his mother’s idea and motivated by his own determination and efforts, the self-taught, never having attended any course at the National Conservatory of Music due to certain circumstances, finally entered the school as an Excellent Artist and a prominent saxophone instructor.
Today, as a present to his mother’s soul and a gift to his beloved audience, Minh introduced his first CD which he composed, arranged and performed jointly with his fellow club members, at the same time his students, including his son Quyen Thien Đac, a young talented saxophonist of Vietnam.
One of the multitudes of musical genres around the world, jazz has been surviving and developing for more than 100 years. Born by the American blacks’ instinct and continuosly developing and evolving over the years, jazz is an advanced musical form much close to the heart of millions of people around the world. As a never-changing principle, the artists always begin their performance with a pre-planned tune and structure. Then, when they return, they start an improvisation of their own based on that structure, thus creating another, new melody on the basis of the original tune and its structure. It’s this feature that has such a charismatic attraction to the audience and the musicians themselves. For the improvisation changes day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, much depending on the moods, emotions, and technical skills of each performer.
A Vietnamese who has been pursuing an extensive research on jazz music, Quyen Van Minh initiated the jazz movement in Ha noi in the early 1990's. Now he teaches jazz theories at the National Conservatory of Hanoi and has his own performance group, the jazz club where his students are given opportunities to combine their academic knowledge with practical nightly performances. All this aims at increasing the qualities of Vietnamese musicians to the international level as well as raising the awareness of and interest in jazz among Hanoians.
His first CD with the title, “Vietnam folk melodies with a Jazz style” presented to the Vietnamese and international audience a pure Vietnamese identity combined with a world’s musical quintessence, a humble contribution to Vietnam’s global integration in 2000.