MOCAMIX: From Harlem to Shanghai and Back

Fri, Feb 3, 2017 @ 8:00pm - 9:30pm

Tickets (includes museum admission): $15/general; $10/MOCA Members
Click here to purchase tickets

"In her trio, Blue Pipa, with guitar and double bass, the lutelike pipa becomes a super-banjo." -The New York Times

"Min has taken her ancient Chinese string instrument into the future." - Village Voice


Min Xiao-Fen’s Blue Pipa Trio presents From Harlem to Shanghai and Back

Dean Johnson, bass
Steve Salerno, guitar
Min Xiao-Fen, pipa, sanxian and vocal


Collected from the many regions of China, Ms. Min's compositions are inspired by Chinese folk, regional operas and Taoist music. The pipa master/vocalist/composer from Nanjing and her trio perform her thrilling new project From Harlem to Shanghai and Back, which reinterprets the work of legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Buck Clayton, Chinese composer Li Jinhui, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. The result is a bold cutting-edge Chinese fusion that transcends time and borders.


Buck Clayton was a leading member of Count Basie’s Old Testament Orchestra. He brought Kansas City Swing to Shanghai in the mid-1930s and worked closely with the father of Chinese popular music Li Jinhui, who contributed hundreds of songs to the Chinese musical canon. Clayton is credited for helping close the gap between American jazz and traditional Chinese music. His effect on Li’s music helped ushered in a brief era of “Chinese jazz” and helped change musical history.


Photo credit: Andrei Matorin