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March 21, 2012

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Live music to soothe the savage soul

IN this town, you can find plenty of places to enjoy live music. Luxury hotels provide lounges, bars and night clubs that are often more private and enjoyable. We introduce three hotels in Shanghai with great resident live bands. Listen to somebody singing as you talk with friends and sip a lovely cocktail. It's a great way to unwind. Sophy Nie reports.

Grand Hyatt Shanghai

Located on the 56th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jin Mao Tower, Patio Lounge owes its soothing atmosphere to the warm glow of polished quartz columns, lit from the inside.

This spectacular Shanghai hotel lounge is situated at the base of the 33-level atrium, with a ceiling disappearing into the highest parts of the tower crown. The stunning ambiance makes Patio Lounge a perfect venue for afternoon tea or a relaxed drink with friends in Shanghai.

The resident Patio Band performs for customers every night from 7:30pm to 10:15pm. Relax to the tunes of the East-meets-West contemporary jazz quartet featuring a fusion of Western music played with traditional Chinese instruments. They play those music instruments including Chinese erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), pipa (Chinese lute), piano and bass.

Another place to enjoy a good view, fine drinks and great live shows is the Piano Bar on the 53rd floor.

Reminisce about the Shanghai of yesteryears with the elegance and silky tones of the resident jazz trio in the Piano Bar while enjoying panoramic views of the Bund. Panoramic views are especially spectacular at night from this intimate bar, which features subtle lighting and music by the resident Jazz Band. Regular local band and female singers perform every night from 8pm. The combination of piano and bass brings old jazz songs, Western pop songs mixed in with some Cantonese music.

Oversized leather sofas and crackled-glass Chinese wood-frame tables are arranged spaciously for guests. The service at Piano Bar is highly personalized; the menu offers an excellent selection of cognacs and single-malt Scotch whiskies from boutique distillers, as well as a collection of fine cigars.

Address: 88 Century Ave

Operation hours:

Patio Lounge: Sunday-Thursday, 11:30am-11pm; Friday-Saturday, 11:30am-midnight

Piano Bar: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-1am; Friday-Saturday, 5pm-2am

Tel: 5047-1234 ext 8778/8779

Fairmont Peace Hotel

The toast of the Far East in the 1930s, the Peace Hotel was a faded vision of its former self by the time it closed for renovations in 2007. Three years later, the historic hotel unveiled a stunning restoration, combining its Art Deco heritage with contemporary comfort. Its legendary hotel address since 1929 is a cherished city landmark.

The Jazz Bar on the ground floor is considered a Shanghai institution. Originally conceived as an English-style pub with a live band, the bar was famous for its jazz music during Shanghai's 1920s and 1930s "Jazz Age." It became known around the world simply as "The Jazz Bar."

Today the bar is so in tune with the vibe of Shanghai that it is visited by many travelers to the city.

While the iconic venue now has modern decor and the latest audio and lighting technology, it retains its original feel as a rustic bar.

Reliving the 1920s atmosphere, The Jazz Bar is now home to the young star Theo Croker, who was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida. Croker is the grandson of the legendary trumpet player Doc Cheatham. Acclaimed as the future of nu-jazz and influenced by a variety of music, Croker's passion and zeal earned him a solid reputation in the jazz world.

Having studied at Oberlin Conservatory, Croker has been worked with jazz legends including Wynton Marsalis, Donald Byrd, Marcus Belgrave, Benny Powell, Gary Bartz, and Billy Hart.

Now Croker plays at The Jazz Bar with his band The Theo Croker Sextet from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10pm to 1am.

Reviving the 1930s sound of the bar, the six veteran musicians who make up the world-famous Old Jazz Band still shake up The Jazz Bar nightly from 7pm. The renowned group has been a fixture at the Peace Hotel since 1980, playing for dignitaries, celebrities, travelers and jazz lovers alike.

Address: 20 Nanjing Rd E.

Operation hours: 5pm-2am

Tel: 6138-6886

Sunrise On The Bund

In Sunrise On The Bund, a live band performs every Thursday to Saturday night at the Old Captain Bar.

Resident vocalist Chen Zhilin is a professional singer and actress who graduated from Shanghai Theater Academy.

From last month, Chen performs for up to three hours with singer and keyboardist Yang Jialin. Chinese and English pop songs are performed.

Brewing its own beer ensures lager and ale lovers get a beverage free of additives with a pleasant bitterness and ample body. The Old Captain Bar offers a Munich-style lager, a dark beer and a wheat beer. The bar also offers foods ranging from tasty appetizers, salads, soups and soft cheeses to delicate desserts and traditional German pork knuckles and sausages.

Address: 168 Gaoyang Rd

Operation hours: 4pm-1am

Show time: Thursday-Saturday, 8:30pm-11:15pm

Tel: 5558-9999 ext 6778


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