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Playing a jazz spectrum of musical possibilities

RENOWNED Canadian "poet in jazz" Yannick Rieu and his band Spectrum will perform at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center on June 14. Nie Xin improvises.

Composer, tenor and soprano saxophonist Yannick Rieu has enjoyed an international career spanning 30 years and one of his missions is to turn Chinese young people on to jazz.

The musician from Quebec, Canada, and his band Spectrum will perform on June 14 at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. He is joined by bass Remi-Jean Leblanc and drums Philippe Melanson.

Rieu has performed worldwide and is especially well known in France. Canadian artist and novelist Gilles Archambault called him a "great poet in jazz" and praised his sound as lyrical.

He has staged with Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Paul Bley, Jon Hendricks, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bill Carrothers, Horace Parlan, John Hicks and Christian Vander. He has also staged together with Chinese musicians in China.

Rieu's China tour begins on May 23 in Beijing, and he plans to give seven master classes and performances on campus, including three in Shanghai.

"We want to let young people in China to get close to top jazz," says Song Haiying, Rieu's agent.

The one-hour-and-a-half Shanghai program features six pieces, lots of improvisation and a couple of Chinese scores as a "surprise," says Song.

Since 2006, Rieu has frequently performed in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province. He staged at the Shanghai International Jazz Festival in 2006 and 2007 and the Beijing International Jazz Festival in 2007 and 2008.

"Helping Chinese young people with their jazz skills is one of the most important missions of Rieu's music career," says Song.

"Shanghai is an incredible city, with the modern side and traditional culture," says Rieu. "The music surroundings in Shanghai are mature and I like this city."

Rieu places great emphasis on communication with his audience and says the Shanghai audience will be special.

Date: June 14, 3pm

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 100-200 yuan

Tel: 962-388, 6854-1234


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