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Musician debuts at JALC Shanghai

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-17 01:27
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A night view of Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai. Provided to China Daily

US trumpeter and singer Benny Benack III has made his debut performance at the Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Shanghai in China.

The 27-year-old, along with his quartet and another vocalist Alita Moses, will be performing at the center until March 18. World Music Report, a platform that promotes the artists of global music, praised Benack III for "his lustrous trumpet and golden bari-tenor vocalastics".

Shanghai is no stranger to jazz. The music genre was wildly popular in the city in the 1920s when the domestic entertainment industry was flourishing. Jazz has since been an indispensable part of local culture.

JALC started as a summer concert series in 1987 at Lincoln Center in New York before a facility for it was built in 2004. The Shanghai outpost — it is the only overseas branch of the center — was jointly founded by Shanghai Bund Investment Group (BIG) and JALC on Sept 29, 2017, as part of the refurbished commercial compound now called The Central.

The venue is located on the fourth floor of Meilun Building, which was built in the 1910s and recently underwent a four-year makeover project by BIG. The 500-square-meter concert hall at JALC Shanghai can accommodate 140 people and holds up to three concerts every night.

All the performances at the venue have been brought to Shanghai by JALC. Olivia Shen, marketing manager of JALC Shanghai, said that the center's average seat occupancy on weekdays is 80 percent. Attendance figures are higher during weekends.

Wynton Marsalis, managing and artistic director of JALC, attended the announcement of JALC Shanghai's establishment last year. He expressed an interest in promoting a greater appreciation of the music genre among the youth in Shanghai and noted that JALC will look to host competitions for young Chinese musicians. The winners of these competitions will get the opportunity to undergo master classes from professional jazz musicians before getting to perform in concerts at JALC Shanghai.

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