SHCM-Berklee Contemporary Institute Joint Jazz Ensemble Concludes Debut Concert Tour in China
The Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SHCM) Berklee Contemporary Institute Joint Jazz Ensemble, featuring more than 30 musicians, presented its debut concert tour in China in June. The group successively performed in five cities including Xi’an, Wuhan, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, promoting jazz throughout China. The concert tour marks the establishment of the SHCM-Berklee Contemporary Music Institute—an academic partnership between Berklee and Shanghai Conservatory of Music—that aims at deepening the cooperation and exchanges between the two schools to jointly build a first-class pop jazz band.
The ensemble included four Berklee students led by Robert Gallegos, an assistant professor of ensembles at Berklee, as well as the SHCM Big Band led by Zhang Xiaolu, head of SHCM's Teaching and Research Office of Jazz.
The ensemble's first stop was the opera and ballet hall of Xi’an Conservatory of Music Art Centre on June 14, which highlighted the performance by SHCM's jazz trumpet player and composer Li Xiaochuan and jazz guitar teacher Zhang Xiongguan. After the successful evening in Xi'an, the ensemble went on to Wuhan to deliver its second concert at the Wuhan Conservatory of Music on June 16. The concert featured eight jazz works and ended with a jazz improvisation number.
The third stop on the tour led the band to Nanjing for a concert in the Nanjing University of the Arts (NUA) pop music hall. Jazz lovers and more than 200 teachers and students of NUA's School of Pop Music gathered for the June 19 concert. In addition to muscians from the SHCM-Berklee Joint Jazz Ensemble, teachers and students in the music performance program at NUA also presented several jazz works of different styles.
The fourth concert was held on June 21 at Shanghai's He Luting Concert Hall, where performers actively interacted with the audience both on and off stage. On June 23, the ensemble performed its last concert at Zhejiang Conservatory of Music. The concert also featured An Hang, an SHCM alumnus and jazz saxophone teacher, who led the newly established Sanshi Jazz Big Band to perform several classic jazz works alongside the SHCM-Berklee Big Band.
This story was translated to English by Zhang Qiong.