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In tune with the times

By XING WEN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-15 09:47
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Singer Na Ying performs on Infinite and Beyond, a show which highlights cross-Strait music exchanges. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Musicians in Taiwan go back to their roots for a new generation of fans, Xing Wen reports.

In Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, Gil, a literature enthusiast, is transported to the 1920s, a golden age for writers and artists. He embarks on a pilgrimage to Le Polidor, a Parisian restaurant frequented by literary giants like Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce.

If a pop music lover were in search of a comparable experience in Taiwan, they would look no further than the cafe Columbia in Taipei.

The cafe was a gathering place for cultured youths and music enthusiasts in the 1970s, including the pioneers of Taiwan's pop music scene.

Among them was a member of the Puyuma ethnic group, singer-songwriter Hu De-fu, better known as Ara Kimbo.

In 1970, Hu, then a 20-year-old university student, faced a difficult situation as his father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and medical expenses were a burden on the family.

To help raise funds, he took on several part-time jobs. He wrote foreign trade letters for a textile factory during the day, and at night he worked as a waiter in a restaurant owned by his friend.

Later, he also started working as a resident singer at the cafe Columbia.

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