Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
IZHUKONG絲竹空爵士樂團 - An Innovative Ancient Sound from Taiwan
In this rejuvenated music, oriental aura and Chinese-kung-fu-like skills are beautifully blended, and a new kind of Chinese music is born with a soul of jazz.
Where does Jazz fit in the music of the world today? How does a citizenship of jazz musicians from every corner of the world adapt and transform this once idiomatically American form? Where is jazz headed next?
Sizhukong, a unique ensemble led by Yuwen Peng, is one good answer to this set of questions. A composer/pianist born and raised in Taiwan, Yuwen received her jazz training at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and returned to Taiwan with a jazz mission. This group is her latest effort to bring jazz into conversation with the old and new cultures of Taiwan. Combining traditional Chinese and modern jazz instrumentation, bringing new styles to traditional songs, Sizhukong takes traditional Chinese music into the modern age and transports jazz and other modern styles back into the past. In March 2007, the group released its first album, also called “Sizhukong”, which catches great attention of both music lovers and critics.
2005 Taipei Arts Festival 2005 & 2006 Taipei Film Festival Opening Concerts 2005 & 2007 Taichung Jazz Festival 2007 Zhu Jia Jiao Water Village World Music Festival in Shanghai, China 2008 Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia 2008 National Theater‧Concert Hall Summer Jazz, Taipei 2008 Jarasum Jazz Festival, Korea 2008 The ANMC21 Cultural Events--‘Enchanting Asia’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2008 The 1st Cross-strait Cultural Industries Fair in Xiamen, China 2008 Hong Kong Jazz Up Concert
Yuwen Peng: piano, composition Toshi Fujii: drums, percussion Alex Wu: erhu (Chinese violin), percussion Joyce Chen: liuqin, ruan (Chinese lutes) Chihping Huang: dizi, xiao (Chinese flutes) Martijn Vanbuel: bass, composition
Si, Zhu, Kong, the combination of these three Chinese characters elicits an abundant range of meaning:
si 絲 Silk
zhu 竹 Bamboo
kong 空 Emptiness
sizhu 絲竹 Musical Instrument, Music
sizhukong 絲竹空 The pressure point at the end of the eyebrow
sizhu kong 絲竹 空 Music is emptiness... Music is not meant to be controlled or manipulated...
“This beautiful music is at once familiar and exotic. The spirit of jazz is very much to the fore in the arrangements and in the improvisation and sits in perfect harmony alongside centuries of Chinese tradition. If Weather Report had come from China they might have sounded something like this.” --Ian Patterson All About Jazz