ANTHONY Strong is headlining the list of acts for this autumn’s Shanghai Jazz Week.
The UK native released his debut album, “Stepping Out,” last year and it soon reached No. 1 on the US iTunes jazz charts in November.
Strong has been featured on the front page of France’s biggest daily newspaper Le Figaro, performed live on German television and been described by the British press as “a major talent hotly tipped to take his place in the retro-contemporary jazz pantheon alongside Jamie Cullum and Michael Bublé.”
His Shanghai gig will mark his China debut.
The city’s 10th annual jazz week, of course, is about more than just one musician. Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cui Jian are also on the list of artists scheduled to perform during the National Day holiday starting from October 1.
Cui’s appearance may raise some eyebrows as he is known as China’s “godfather of rock ’n’ roll.” But Li Hui, executive vice president of Moisson Communications, the organizer of the event, says it makes sense that Cui be invited to jazz week.
“Jazz represents freedom and possibility in music,” he says. “Cui is a great example of opening up and breaking with tradition to chart new paths.”
Li is a long-time friend of Cui and says the popular musician “likes jazz music very much and is working on creating his own jazz tunes.”
Meanwhile, Bridgewater’s performance will likely be a hot ticket. The Grammy and Tony Award-winning jazz diva has risen to the top tier of today’s vocalists with her unique spins on classics.
For her latest recording, “Eleanora Fagan (1915-59): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee,” Bridgewater honors iconic jazz figure Billie Holiday.
The complete lineup of acts hasn’t been finalized yet but six shows will be staged along the Pudong riverside. More than 30 shows will take place around the city at jazz bars and other venues.
Li says jazz week’s biggest legacy is introducing locals to more musicians, both established names and emerging talents.
“Jazz week has contributed to bringing young jazz musicians to Shanghai and introducing more music idols to audiences here,” Li says.
Over the last decade, the jazz festival has witnessed the likes of Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Chris Botti, Lisa Ono and Joanna Wong.
Get ready for another stellar week of jazz.
Main Stage schedule
Date: October 2-4 (2-5:30pm, 7-10pm)
Venue: Lujiazui Century Finance Square, east to Jinkang Rd and west to Yanggao Rd S., Pudong