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Enjoy the last rays of city festival season
By Brian Offenther

AS Shanghai's beautiful people pause to consider slipping on sweaters, all over the city promoters are scrambling to soak up these late-year warm days while they can still be (almost) relied upon.

And so we have three festivals this weekend, providing music fans with one last chance to expose a bit of flesh to the elements before winter's blast finally arrives.

The JZ Festival is the granddad of the fests lately - and I'm not just talking about the performers. Just kidding, of course.

For while some of the artists do indeed fall into the more mature category, there are plenty of younger ones there to give the fest an interesting scope of experience and style.

It takes place on October 20-21 at the Expo Park in Pudong, with auxiliary events in other locations and times.

From 1pm to 9:30pm on both days, jazz music - and just about any variation of it - will be featured; from big bands (Chris Potter + JZ Big Band) to bluegrass (Arkansas Traveler).

One of the headliners will be a group called RH Factor that dubs itself "neo-electric-funksoul" and is led by trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Hargrove debuted in the 1980s and was heralded as a return to trumpeter greats of the 1950s and 1960s.

Also playing will be Beijing band Hanggai, which features heavy influence from Mongolian music.

But if you're especially interested in Mongolian music, there's another place you might want to be. Over at Yuyintang (851 Kaixuan Rd, by Yan'an Rd W.) on October 20 from 7pm is the Mongol Arts and Culture Festival.

Full disclosure: I'm promoting this event.

I will say though, that it is going to be a bonanza, with musicians, painters and photographers coming in from Mongolia and elsewhere to present a strong single dose of the culture. Among headliners is Ajinai, a Beijing-based group that has grown quite a feeling with their Mongolian folk fusion sound.

Local Shanghai acts will be getting in on the act as well, with The Horde and Death to Giants playing special sets with Mongolian music influences.

And to wash down all these events is the Shanghai International Beer Festival from October 19 to 21 at Wharf 1846 Promenade (601 Waima Rd, near Maojiayuan Rd).

This runs from 3pm on October 19 and 11am on October 20 and October 21 to 11pm on all three days.

While the focus of the event will be on the barley and hops, the event will feature entertainment from electro DJ party crew The Icecream Truck (TICT) and others. Full disclosure: I'm one of the DJs and did other work for the fest).

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