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US band set to jazz Viet Nam

April 26, 2011

NewsHA NOI — A jazz performance by the American Ari Roland Jazz Quartet and Vietnamese veteran jazz saxophonist Quyen Van Minh will be held at Ha Noi's Youth Theatre on Thursday.

The quartet includes Ari Roland (double bass), Chris Byars (tenor saxophone), Zaid Nasser (alto saxophone) and Keith Balla (drums), who have been together for more than 20 years.

Minh is one of the most notable musicians in Ha Noi and has run a jazz club in Ha Noi's Old Quarter for many years. His father is a guitarist and saxophonist. His mother is a singer with alto voice.
When Minh was a teenage saxophone student, he began to teach himself jazz after listening to the radio during the American War. Minh's father did not support his son's interest in jazz until 1974 when he gave him an alto saxophone.

The quartet will present classic songs and compositions at the HCM City Conservatory today.

Bassist Ari Roland, saxophonists Chris Bayers and Zaid Nasser, and drummer Keith Balla will perform compositions by many jazz greats including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington apart from the band's own compositions.

The concert will also have Vietnamese songs performed by the band along with local musicians like well-known saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, dan day (three-stringed lute) artist Anh Tan, and a dao (chamber music) singer Kim Luyen.

Apart from the concert, the band will hold discussions with students of the conservatory and Vietnamese jazz musicians.

The band will also perform for visually impaired students at the Nhat Hong Shelter in Thu Duc District.

The concerts, organised by the US Department of State and the US Consulate General in HCM City, aim to promote understanding between people of Viet Nam and the US.

The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet, formed 25 years ago in New York City, have been selected for the 2011 edition of The Rhythm Road an annual programme that promotes American music abroad implemented by the US Department of State.

They have released nearly 25 solo and group albums and performed all over the US and toured several other countries.

The concert will begin at 7.30pm today at the HCM City Conservatory at 115 Nguyen Du Street, District 1. Admission is free and open to the public. Tickets can be obtained at the conservatory. — VNS

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