There’s a lot of treats in store for jazz listeners over the next couple weeks, starting with the Juno award-winning David Braid sextet dropping into town on Saturday to play at JZ Club. Then the Norway-China (“NOTCH”) music festival kicks off during the October holiday week, with concerts taking place at JZ aand Rojam. Most of the shows, including Bugge Wesseltoft (who played two years ago at JZ Club) will be at the Rojam disco on October 4 and 5, and will feature more electronic-based music. The part at JZ will just be one night, Oct. 6, and will feature two different jazz groups: the Ola Kvernberg Trio and Hakon Kornstad.
One we’re really holding our breath for, the Fuxing International Jazz Festival, commences later in October. Starting on the 20th and ending the 23rd, the festival will feature Shanghai’s best locally-based jazz groups and four or five major international jazz names. The concerts will take place in Fuxing Park. The details have not been posted online yet, but hopefully will be before the concert actually takes place. This is the second time a jazz festival has been held in Fuxing Park, and it promises to be much more successful than the first one which was thrown together in a single month. That was back in 2004, and actually it ended up being a pretty impressive set of shows — however it was more of an international culture and music fest than a jazz fest. Plus it was not well-publicized or attended, so it didn’t happen again last year. This time, however, they’ve started early and everything is in place. There is also a much more solidly established set of jazz groups in town now, and that should help fill out the schedule.
Also, there’s a special musician in town for a few weeks, doing some things that don’t get heard in these parts very often. It’s Norwegian jazz organist Steinar Nickelson playing his Hammond B-2. He’ll be rocking out monday nights at JZ (including tonight) for the next couple weeks until he leaves town Oct. 9, so come down if you want to catch something you probably won’t ever hear anywhere else in town. He’s quite amazing.
We’ve also just learned a bit of very disturbing news: Last Thursday evening, one of Shanghai’s best-knows jazz singers, Coco, was beaten by two men outside a new bar on Yueyang Lu. We went to hear Coco sing last night at JZ, so he’s up and about, but has a lot of pain in his chest still and can’t breathe deeply without it hurting severely. According to his own account, Coco was asked by the club to perform for the opening night party on Friday, as well as do a sound check there Thursday night. When he showed up for the sound check, he was denied entry by a man in a black suit, ostensibly the head of security, and an argument ensued. Finally he was let in after calling the club’s manager and completed the sound check. After he left the bar, however, he had only walked about 10 meters when he was attacked from behind by two men wearing all black. They pushed him to the ground and kicked him repeatedly for a while, then ran away. After recovering his breath, Coco immediately went back to the club and confronted the security guard about it, who denied any involvement in the incident. After that, Coco left and went to the hospital for treatment. He was told there were no broken bones, but that he had suffered serious contusions to the soft tissues of the chest cavity and to come back again for another checkup.
Image of David Braid from davidbraid.com.