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Jiaowei Hu

Jazz reported, from China. | STAY HEALTHY, JAZZ ON LATER.

About Me

I'm an independent jazz writer based in Shanghai, China.

I have been working closely with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Blue Note China, JZ Music, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai among others during the past five years. In May 2019, I accomplished a local government-commissioned research project on “Youth Engagement in Jazz Industry of Shanghai” alone. Through over 60 articles published online and in print before contributing to All About Jazz, I have been taking my part in the jazz popularization process in China.

Through jazz writing, I hope to bring people and different parties together, to build bridges for people to meet, across ethnicities and races, across religions and beliefs, across genders and generations, across occupations and fields, even across diverse ways of thinking. That's how jazz has enlightened me, so I want to write about it in return. One day it suddenly hits me, that I should help to let the world hear what's happening in China as well. I feel it part of my mission since I'm also among those who write the most about jazz in my country. Being a long-time follower of All About Jazz, I wish to contribute, as much as to learn. To connect, as much as to be connected.

I didn't grow up in jazz, even though I'm born and bred a Shanghainese girl, in a city that had a history with jazz back in the 20s. I learned classical piano since childhood in the 90s, but it wasn’t until university that I found my interest.

In Mandarin, we have this word “缘分” (pronounced in Chinese Pin Yin as “Yuán Fèn”). It carries the meaning of a predestined relationship, some sort of fate or destiny that brings people together. The best is yet to come. It came late, and yet in perfect shape.

About nine years ago, I heard “Jasmine” by chance, an ECM record by the duo of Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden. Influenced by the piano and classical music background perhaps, I totally gravitated. Later, jazz has been revealing itself even more to me. It's always a blessing to feel learning a joy. Everyone is not Einstein. But jazz sometimes pushes you into a state of wanting to be everything: a scientist, a painter, a novelist, a show host, a trader, even a wanderer. Jazz has opened me up from inside and granted me a lifetime attitude of openness.

Diversity. Freedom. Naturality. I'm totally in for these and jazz just has them all. So here I am, writing on jazz from the Far East, from China. Here is a growing market; the musicians can tell, too. But that's only the shallow surface of it. To dig a bit deeper, I think today many Chinese are in common in the spirit - usually a bit timid to express it though - that we aspire to open up to the world and get connected. Be it our musicians, aficionados, agents and managers...... our culture. To connect and be connected, just like anyone else.

My Jazz Story

Diversity. Freedom. Naturality. The DIVERSITY of displaying and fusing any elements into a whole fresh thing. The FREEDOM within a band cooperation, encouraging fearless souls to go anywhere. The NATURALITY as one stays true to his inner feelings and physical motions, true to his mind-thinking and self- expressing, true to himself in the post production no less than the creation process. I've found that these three merits of jazz musicians, do pass on to the audience and listeners, rush deep into their hearts and sometimes put impacts on them for the better.

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