With nine stages and nearly 100 bands, JZ Festival (Green Note) will return to Shanghai’s Expo Park on September 20 and 21.
More than 1,000 jazz performers of all kinds will gather for the two-day outdoor festival, the biggest JZ edition ever. Next year will mark 10 years of the JZ Festival.
An audience of around 30,000 is expected.
“Going to the festival is more like a lifestyle for Chinese. It’s not just a festival about jazz and stars. It’s a life attitude and living style,” says Ren Kuangyu, a JZ Festival staff member.
“Our dream is that someday everyone will say they want to go the JZ Festival because they love it,” he says.
Big names this year include the Brand New Heavies and the Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def.
Bossa nova and jazz singer Lisa Ono will once again perform at the festival.
“Shanghai is a city with very sophisticated and polite people. I would like the Chinese audience to find a favorite song and performance during the event,” she says.
“In jazz music there is improvisation, it’s a painting of your heart’s wish and it’s free in style since we have lots of energy and feeling. I like to see everybody enjoying my music,” she adds.
The festival will feature various activities to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Wow Walk @ JZ Festival aims to encourage people to walk instead of ride.
“People in cities badly need to walk. We work in offices for more than eight hours a day and take the metro, bus and taxi after work. We seldom walk,” Ren says. “Wow Walk will create a chance for us to enjoy the pleasure of walking.”
The festival will also encourage people to classify their garbage for recycling. It promises not only music but also food and wine. Cuba libre, wine from Spain, and beer from the Netherlands are among the offerings from around the world.
City Zine Vintage Market will be there with fashionable vintage garments and accessories.
In Fan Club-The Bund, which will be held on site, JZ Festival musicians will interact with spectators, chatting informally, forming a bridge between performers and the audience. It will be a fresh experience for many artists and fans.
“I’ve been to the JZ Festival several times. I feel the breeze, sunshine and the energy of the music and nature,” says Wang Wei, a jazz fan.
“People bring friends and families and enjoy the fantastic music in the open air. The experience is awesome,” Wang adds.