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China's jazz scene hits high note with growing audience

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-27 10:51
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The 2024 Taihu Jazz Festival opened on May 22, 2024, at the Taihu Stage Art Center, a branch of China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

As dusk fell, Laurent Maur and his band began their show, enveloping the audience in a graceful jazz sound created by rhythmic drumming and an interweaving melody of harmonica and flute, dissolving the summer fatigue.

The performance by Maur, a French harmonica player, marked the opening of the 2024 Taihu Jazz Festival, a five-day event that began on Wednesday at the Taihu Stage Art Center, a branch of China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing. The festival has welcomed over 200 jazz musicians from home and abroad.

Liu Mingxin, a Beijing resident and jazz enthusiast, hurried to the jazz festival in Tongzhou District with her friend immediately after finishing work. "We often attend concerts and music festivals together. Jazz makes me feel relaxed and I can really feel the music," said the 30-year-old.

During his performance, Maur enthralled the audience with his original creations themed on Sino-French friendship. "Music possesses incredible power to connect people from different countries, and I believe it also plays a very important role in cultural exchanges between China and France," he said.

Maur holds a profound love for China. Since 2010, he has made numerous trips to the country, including a 28-day performance tour across 24 cities. "When we performed in China, the audiences were very enthusiastic and really got into it," he said.

Launched in 2021, the Taihu Jazz Festival has been held for four years now. Li Xiaochuan, a renowned Chinese jazz trumpeter, is a regular attendee. This year, he performed a variety of original music infused with Chinese elements.

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