Jazz pianist holds concerts to launch solo career

July 28, 2020 - 09:00
Ten years after his debut concerts after graduating in Sweden and returning to Việt Nam, jazz pianist Tuấn Nam will perform in Hà Nội and HCM City next month.


Jazz pianist Tuấn Nam speaks at a press conference on his “Tuấn Nam Fusion Jazz Night" concerts that will take place in Hà Nội and HCM City next month. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

HÀ NỘI — Ten years after his debut concerts after graduating in Sweden and returning to Việt Nam, jazz pianist Tuấn Nam will perform in Hà Nội and HCM City next month.

Entitled 'Tuấn Nam Fusion Jazz Night', the concert will take place in the capital on August 15 and in HCM City on August 23.

Unlike his debut concerts which aimed to introduce himself to the local audience after studying at the Malmo Academy of Music, the upcoming gigs mark his decision to pursue a solo career after leaving one of the most well-known bands in Việt Nam, Anh Em.

According to the pianist, he has realised that although jazz is not a popular music genre for most people, it is on the rise.

“I have accumulated more experience over the past 10 years. It can be said I’ve got more ‘mature’ in my career, so I’m more confident to know exactly what I want to gain in the future,” Nam said.

The pianist also said that when he was with Anh Em, he didn’t have many chances to play "pure" jazz. Instead, he had chances to experiment by bringing a touch of jazz into other music genres.

“That is the way I bring jazz to closer to a mass audience,” the pianist said.

During the 'Tuấn Nam Fusion Jazz Night', alongside his solo performance, Nam will have some of his friends join him. The pianist will share the stage with two big figures of Vietnamese jazz – father and son jazz saxophonists Quyền Văn Minh and Quyền Thiện Đắc. The two saxophonists were among the guest artists of Nam’s debut concerts 10 years ago.

In addition, divo Tùng Dương, who has won fame with several songs performed in a jazz style, will also perform.

The lineup also includes Lê Hiếu, dubbed the ‘Prince of Love Songs’, and emerging singer Hà Lê who has impressed with his Trịnh Contemporary music project.

Jazz pianist Tuấn Nam (left) and singer Hà Lê seen at the press conference on the 'Tuấn Nam Fusion Jazz Night' concerts. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

The concerts will also feature singers Bùi Lan Hương and Thuỷ Bùi, who both graduated from the Jazz Department of the Việt Nam National Academy of Music.

Explaining why his concert features a large lineup, Nam said: “My intention is to let the audience realise that jazz is not difficult to listen to. In fact, jazz already has been merged into other more popular music genres in Việt Nam, including many songs that they can sing along. So when the singer performs those songs on the stage, the audience can think ‘Oh, I know this song. It turns out that I’ve listened to jazz before.’ That’s why my concerts will feature fusion jazz.”

The gigs also aim to popularise jazz music in Việt Nam.

"Thoughjazz has been enjoyed in Việt Nam for many years, but in fact, there are very few jazz concerts for enthusiasts and artists. I hope these concerts can contribute to the jazz development in the country, helping it become one of the most–listening music genres in Việt Nam.”

In 2007, when Nam was 22 years old, he was the only student of Việt Nam National Academy of Music to win a direct offer and full-ride scholarship from the Malmo Academy of Music for both BA and post-graduate degrees on jazz piano.

During his studies in Sweden, together with trio Buzor Nenic from Denmark, Nam performed at several events in Finland, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.

When he came back to Việt Nam in 2010, his debut concerts in Hà Nội and HCM City featured the trio Per Oscar Nilsson from Sweden and his beloved teacher at Malmo Academy of Music jazz pianist Hakan Rydin.

The organiser told Việt Nam News yesterday that the concerts will go ahead as scheduled despite the coronavirus outbreak in central Việt Nam over the weekend. — VNS