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Jazz Vietnam: The closing market

Dec 14, 2005

jazzVNVietNamNet - Jazz Vietnam is unpopular as Pop music dominates local audiences.

Approximately ten years ago, Hanoi was a bustling stage of Jazz, with saxophonist Quyen Van Minh, Phuong Dong Band, singer Vu Quang Trung, and Tran Thu Ha developing a small, but effervescent “Jazz community”. However, Pop music has become dominant, relegating Jazz to a corner. Now Quyen

Van Minh's Jazz Club stands alone in the capital on Luong Van Can Street.

Until recently Ho Chi Minh was also busy with Jazz bars and clubs, but now Jazz fans only have Sax ‘n’ Art Jazz Club on Le Loi Road belonging to saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan. Sax’n’ Art has been opened for just over one year, attracting Jazz artists Tuyet Loan, Van Khanh, Yen Xuan, Minh Tam, and The Vinh. It is the only Jazz club strongly patronised in the city, which is seen as a small victory both for owner Tuan, and Vietnamese Jazz in general.

Jazz is not chosen by young artists, who prefer Pop music to quickly propel them to fame and riches. Pop stars can be known to everyone as they appear frequently in the media, while the “Queen or King of Jazz” are known only within the small circle of Jazz artists and fans.

“King of Jazz”, saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan was once told that if he did not spend so much time for Jazz , he could achieve greater fame and riches. However, outsiders could never understand that Jazz gets in-your-blood, as it has for Tuan, and father and son saxophonists Quyen Van Minh and Quyen Thien Dac.

Jazz singer Tuyet Loan commented “Jazz artists will never be rich, but poverty may be a reason that makes us perform better!”. While not serious, Jazz Vietnam seems to be a market in its closing stages.

Even during the EU Jazz Festival, which took place in Hanoi in early December, the situation did not improve, as the majority of Vietnamese seemed engrossed by the national football team in the23rd SEA Games.

Not only audiences, but artists also seem indifferent to their art, and the closing market is being neglected by both customers and sellers.

VietnamNet 14-12-2005

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