Kazumi Watanabe at House of Blues & Jazz, Shanghai
A flurry of clapping later, the rest of the band joined the piano and guitar for a happy song that had the audience participating with the ethnic rhythm: clap-clap-pause-clap-clap-clap. Apparently everyone knew this song ("Havana" by pianist Koko Tanikawa) except for me. The pipa graced this last song with a animated riff, showing off her skills and getting the crowd even more jazzed. No pun intended, but this crowd definitely personified the word "jazzed." Featuring Watanabe's obvious skills, a colorful song selection, and the rare presence of a pipa on a jazz & blues stage, Castle in the Air was a pleasant surprise.