Composer and saxophonist Yannick Rieu will visit Qingdao to perform with the Yannick Rieu Jazz Quartet at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on August 6, 2011. Yannick is based in Québec and has been recognized as one of the world’s most talented saxophonists by Downbeat magazine. The upcoming event in Qingdao is a part of Yari Productions’ 10th tour of China. Beijing Poly Theatre Management Co., Ltd. has organized 9 concerts: Shenzhen Poly Theatre, Dongguan Grand Theatre, Chongqing Grand Theatre, Wuhan Qintai Grand Theatre, Henan Art Center, Qingdao Grand Theatre, Wenzhou Grand Theatre, Hefei Grand Theatre and Changzhou Grand Theatre. During the tour, a master class at the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China and 3 master classes in Yunnan province will be organized by Yari Productions of Canada.

The concerts in China are to serve an educational role: a summary of the music playlist, instruments and a brief history of jazz will be integrated into the performances. Presentations will be made in Chinese courtesy of Ms. Haiying Song. Yari Productions would like to acknowledge the Canada Embassy in Beijing, the Quebec Offices in Beijing and Shanghai for their special support, as well as the Tourisme Québec for the financial support. Yari Productions is supported by grants from the Conseil des Arts et des Letters du Québec and Canada Council for the Arts.

Check out Yannick’s thoughts on the quartet’s upcoming tour of China, his impressions of Chinese music, his wife’s hometown, and more.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never seen
this type of performance?

For sure it is jazz music but with different influences like classical music, contemporary music and French songs. It is a melodic approach of music where communication between musicians is very important. In general I use pretty simple composition and we develop during the improvisation.

When was the last time you played in China?

October 2010, concerts at the Shanghai Expo 2010 and the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China for the event of 40 years relations between Canada and China.

Have you ever visited Qingdao?

This time will be the first time. But I know this city well. My wife was born in Qingdao.

I will study this music more in the future because I know that I can make my music better with this kind of influence.

What Chinese musicians have you listened to or worked with?

I have played with Liu Yuan, Huang Jianyi, Xiao Dou, Huang Yong, Lu Xuanchen… I have listened to Cui Jian, Gong Linna… I hope I will discover a lot more about this incredibly rich culture. Very inspiring and great variety of music from all around China. A lot of work and happiness in the future!

What are your goals for the tour this time?

To meet the people and share the music. Share nice musical moments with the public and maybe give some happiness to someone.

Could you introduce the band members?

Geoff Lapp/piano, is a pianist with great sensibility. Geoff understands very well what I want from a pianist. Always tasty, his playing is a mix of classical and modern influences that made him the “perfect pianist” for my music. John Fraboni/drums is certainly one of the most talented guys in Canada. His approach to music is intelligent and he’s got a very special, original sound on drums. Adrian Vedady/double bass is probably the bassist that everyone wants to play with. He is a very serious and curious musician with a great sensibility that gives him the possibility to play a lot of different kinds of music. Adrian is always ready to try new things in music.

Do you play any Chinese songs in your set?

Yes, Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (月亮代表我的心) and Qia Si Ni De Wen Rou (恰似你的温柔). I cannot say I know a lot about Chinese music (there is so much to listen to!) but what I know inspires me a lot. I will study this music more in the future because I know that I can make my music better with this kind of influence.

Have you ever played any traditional Chinese instruments?

Yes, xiao (箫), hulusi (葫芦丝), changdi (长笛), and xun( 埙). I have also a guzheng (古筝) at home. I use these instruments not in the traditional way. I would like to have more time to look at these instruments more seriously… 24 hours in a day is too short to do what I would like to do…

Relevant Links:
Yannick Rieu Official Website

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