On Friday, May 23rd, New Haven's Firehouse 12
will present a two-set performance by world renowned pipa master and vocalist Min Xiao-Fen
and her Asian Trio, featuring cellist Okkyung Lee and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. Collectively representing the countries of China, Korea and Japan respectively, this innovative group will perform Ms. Min's original work, Return of the Dragon
," which blends elements from a variety of musical traditions with her own Chinese calligraphy. The piece was commissioned in 2007 by the experimental New York exhibition and performance space, The Kitchen.
In Chinese culture," she explains, calligraphy and music are considered among the highest forms of expression. This performance includes both. The writing that appears onstage represents different forms of the Chinese character for dragon chosen from different periods in ancient Chinese history. My music is inspired by the spirit, energy and fantasy of the dragon." The New Haven Advocate's Bill Carbone writes, The pan- Asian trio is fluidly eclectic, performing their dynamic improvisations and compositions with an all-is-one approach reminiscent of the Art Ensemble of Chicago."
Critics have called Ms. Min an astonishing virtuosa" (John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune), a mesmerizing performer" (Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times) and a pipa player like no other" (Joseph Horowitz, New York Times). A child of China's Cultural Revolution, and second generation master of the two thousand year-old pipa, also known as the Chinese lute, she toured Asia and Europe for more than a decade as a soloist with the Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra before leaving China for San Francisco in 1992. Since moving to New York four years later, she has transcended countless musical boundaries with such collaborators as Derek Bailey, Bjrk, Jane Ira Bloom, Tan Dun, Philip Glass, Susie Ibarra, the New York City Opera, Ned Rothenberg, Randy Weston and John Zorn among many others.
2008 Spring Jazz Series schedule:
03/14 :: David Torn's Prezens
03/21 :: Susie Ibarra Trio
03/28 :: Dezron Douglas Quintet
04/04 :: Aaron Goldberg Trio
04/11 :: Joe Morris Quartet
04/18 :: Peter Brotzmann/Han Bennink Duo
04/25 :: Andy LaVerne's One Of A Kind
05/02 :: BassDrumBone
05/09 :: Miguel Zenon Quartet
05/16 :: Ralph Alessi & This Against That
05/23 :: Min Xiao-Fen's Asian Trio
05/30 :: Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers
06/06 :: Ben Wolfe Quartet