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#1 Sept. 10, 2018 12:22:20

Registered: 2018-07-18
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A performance at the JZ Club in Shanghai Photo: IC
It's 11 pm in downtown Shanghai. Outside on the street the cool early April wind still has the power to make people shiver Thomas Delaney Dortmund Jersey , but inside a vintage bar on Fuxing West Road the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

JZ Club, housed in a three-storied Spanish-style building, is completely packed - no small feat for a Thursday night. As a Japanese jazz trio graces the stage, the audience takes a moment away from chatting over drinks to break into cheers and applause in between each song.

On my way in the bar's bouncer mentioned that audiences as large as this are very common for the venue, which has become a landmark in Shanghai for live jazz performance since 2004, and that on some occasions “it's so crowded that you can barely find a place to stand.”

Time to say goodbye

Recently people have been coming here not just to appreciate live music but also for nostalgic reasons. The building is scheduled to be repurposed by the government for official use and so the bar must leave before May 15.

A WeChat post by JZ Music Sokratis Papastathopoulos Dortmund Jersey , the owner of the club, recently caused a stir among music fans online.

“Important Announcement: Bad News and Good News about JZ Club,” the post said, informing people of the bar's relocation in both Chinese and English, and inviting them to take part in the bar's “Farewell to West Fuxing” festivities.

“There will be weekly jam sessions at the club and in the last days before it's evacuated we'll definitely be jamming all night long,” Wu Yue Shinji Kagawa Dortmund Jersey , a marketing executive with JZ Music, told the Global Times. Additionally, according to the post, attendees “are encouraged to share stories and experiences that will be compiled in a commemorative JZ publication.”

In just a few days the post has gotten more than 45,000 clicks and hundreds of “likes” and comments.

"This abrupt relocation is surely to influence our business and performance schedules, but it won't affect us that much Sergio Gomez Dortmund Jersey ," said Ren Yuqing, founding father of JZ Music. JZ Club, which was founded in 2003 and settled in its current location in 2004, is the oldest of four live bars owned by JZ Music in downtown Shanghai. The other three venues (Wooden Box, On Stage and JZ Lounge) also feature music from other genres such as folk music and world music, while the JZ Club has been dedicated solely to jazz. After May 15 Sebastian Rode Dortmund Jersey , some performances formerly scheduled for JZ Club will head to the other three venues.

A new location for the JZ Club has not been decided upon yet, according to Ren, but he's looking for the perfect place in downtown Shanghai somewhere in the Jing'an or Huangpu districts.

Musical expansion

An increasing number of people in China have been getting to know and appreciate jazz music over the past few decades. Ren recalled that before 2000, Shanghai still lagged behind Beijing when it came to the jazz music scene even though Shanghai was known as the cradle for this music genre in China in the 1920s.

At the JZ Club, which has held more than 8,300 concerts over the past 12 years Roman Weidenfeller Dortmund Jersey , the Chinese audience has been growing, coming to outweigh the number of foreigners in attendance, according to Ren.

Currently, besides regular concerts, music lovers in Shanghai can appreciate jazz feasts through three jazz music festivals each year, the Shanghai Jazz Week in October co-organized by UMedia and the Shanghai World Expo Group Roman Burki Dortmund Jersey , JZ Music's JZ Spring in April and the JZ Festival in October.

JZ Music, a world-renowned jazz group, not only operates bars and music festivals but also runs a music school, the JZ School, and its own music label JZ Records. More than 300 students study at the JZ School, which is set to open a new branch in Shanghai this year. It cooperates with the Berklee College of Music to bring textbooks to China and collaborates with teachers from The Royal Conservatoire of Hague to offer online courses to Chinese students.

JZ Records Raphael Guerreiro Dortmund Jersey , the brainchild of JZ Music and Sony Music, has plans to release a number of albums featuring JZ Music musicians including Golden Melody Best Composer winner Peng Fei.

“After more than 10 years of effort, JZ Music has started to witness the blossoming of the Chinese jazz music scene,” Ren told the Global Times. “It will take time to see what will come from this in the future.”

Marketing difficulties

Experts in the Chinese music industry note that it's very difficult to promote jazz here. Considering jazz is a music genre that ultimately celebrates free-style and improvisation in performance, Chinese audience usually take a while to warm up to it, especially when it comes to purely instrumental performances since Chinese music lovers are famous for their obsession with lyrics.

In order to attract increased attention from the public Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Dortmund Jersey , the JZ Festival once invited a considerable number of famous pop and rock singers to join its lineup. The 2014 event was the largest ever with 60 acts, including headliners such as Chinese rock star Cui Jian and pop singer Sandy Lam.

But the inclusive line-up proved ineffective, according to Ren, who was barely able to make ends meet during the festival's first decade. Therefore last year, the music festival stayed away from pop singers and only focused on jazz musicians and fusion aficionados. The two-day event attracted more than 30,000 people Omer Toprak Dortmund Jersey , surpassing the previous year's audience numbers.

“The interest in jazz music is growing among Chinese people but there's much more we can do to improve the situation,” Ren said, explaining that his JZ Spring festivals have been leaving concert halls and heading to parks and public areas in the hopes of broadening Chinese people's taste in music.

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