Tuesday, August 21 2018


Musicians aim to promote jazz in Viet Nam

Update: April, 20/2012 - 10:09


Inspired: Pianist Nguyen Tuan Nam and his quartet will give a free performance and seminar on jazz by invitation from the US Embassy. — File Photo
HA NOI — Musicians in the capital will hold a free seminar and performance this afternoon in an effort to promote jazz in Viet Nam.

Pianist Nguyen Tuan Nam and his quartet will play at 4pm at Rose Garden Tower, 170 Ngoc Khanh Street, as part of a jazz appreciation event organised by the US Embassy.

After a brief introduction on jazz history, the band will play songs typical of different periods and discuss the characteristics of jazz music, according to Nam.

"It's a good chance for us to talk about jazz in Viet Nam, how it was brought to Viet Nam and how it integrated with Vietnamese traditional music," he said.

For more than 50 years, jazz, an original American art form, has been a feature of US cultural engagement around the world.

While jazz is popular in many countries, it's still unusual to hear in Viet Nam. Jazz musicians often improvise, Nam said, so it requires listeners' to pay close attention.

"That's one reason not many people understand and appreciate jazz," he said.

"However, after years of adaptation in Viet Nam, jazz musicians can now express their speciality and characteristics through performances."

A jazz department has been set up at the Viet Nam Academy of Music to train artists in this genre.

"Jazz piano sets musicians free to create melodies and be inspired, and I hope I can share that feeling with the audience at the seminar," said Nam, who teaches jazz piano.

Impressed with these dynamic performers who embody the true spirit of jazz music, the US Embassy invited the Tuan Nam Quartet to perform, said David Moyer, Cultural Affairs Officer at the embassy.

"In addition to their impressive musical talent, they are also very knowledgeable about the history of jazz and will help the audience gain a deeper appreciation of this art form," he said.

"We hope that by hosting this type of programme and showcasing some local talents, the Embassy can help inspire the next generation of jazz musicians."

Nam graduated from the Malmo Music Academy in Sweden. He has joined the Trio Buzor Nenic (Denmark) on tours to Finland, Germany, Sweden and Viet Nam and organised two live shows since 2010.

Saxophonist Quyen Thien Dac graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and earned his MA at the Malmo Academy of Music in Sweden. Dac has performed in various jazz concerts in Viet Nam and overseas. He is the leader of the Red River Jazz Band and teaches saxophone at the Viet Nam Academy of Music.

The most experienced artist in Tuan Nam Quartet, Vu Ngoc Ha, was one of the first jazz musicians in Viet Nam. He has performed extensively both at home and abroad and has been a lecturer at the Ha Noi College of Arts and the Military College of Arts and Culture for many years.

Drummer Pham Duc Duy is known for his role in the Red River Jazz Band and has toured Singapore and Chinese Taipei. He has already made a tremendous contribution to jazz in Ha Noi. — VNS

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