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Quyen Van Minh
Quyen Thien Dac


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A hope for Vietnamese jazz

Aug 23, 2004

NHANDAN - The audience was surprised with jazz compositions created by artist Quyen Van Minh based on Vietnamese folk melodies during the performance on November 9, last night of the European Jazz Festival held in Vietnam.

Two weeks before that, Quyen Van Minh with Song Hong (Red River) jazz band including 12 wind instrument players, a bass player, a pianist and a drummer started to rehearse for the performance. On November 7, a special guest,Quyen Thien Dac, a son of Quyen Van Minh, returned from Berklee music school in Boston, US to join the rehearsal. The audience had chances to enjoy talented performances of Song Hong band and Crossroad band with a French, a Belgian and two Vietnam artists. Particularly, Quyen Thien Dac and his father performed their own compositions ‘Nguoi Mong xuong nui’ (Mong ethnic people descend from the mountain), ‘Tieng vong’ (Repercussion) and ‘Gio Phuong Bac’ (Northern wind) which are based on folk melodies of Mong ethnic people and cheo (popular operetta).

To complete these compositions, Quyen Van Minh and Quyen Thien Dac had to spend a year to harmonise Vietnam folk melodies with western jazz. Quyen Van Minh said: “ Vietnam does not have jazz. Vietnam artists have just played foreign works so far and that is an imitation. Through the performance, we want to introduce works created on the basis of folk melodies.”

It may be too early to call it Vietnam jazz but it brings the prospect a syncopated beat or two nearer.

by Uyen Ly - Tuoi tre newspaper

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