From Nguyen Le to Hozo

  October 21, 2019

“It is with great excitement & deep honour that I present my «Tales from Viet Nam» project at Hozo Festival, for the first time in Viet Nam and 24 years after its creation in France. This is the first project, among many others later, that I did about the music of my motherland, and because it was the first, it means so much to me.

I started with melodies that my mother sang for me when I was a child, I searched in the Vietnamese Paris community for open-minded traditional musicians I could work and learn with, I didn’t care about what guardians of the tradition could say, I had to construct a new language between West & East, Past & Present and communicate with it. The album, and the band, received a beautiful recognition with many awards and successful tours, great CD sales and full of praise reviews.

Thanks to Huy Tuan Bui and the Hozo festival, we will bring this musical adventure back to life (our last concert was in 1999), with many elements from what I am today and what is Vietnam today. The band is made of musicians that all I love and admire. I wanted the rhythm section to be a center I could be very confident with, so I choose to have my Streams quartet, (touring since 2016, with a record in spring 2019), with Illya Amar (Lyon, France) on vibraphone and synths, Chris Jennings (Canada) on acoustic bass and John Hadfield (New York) on drums and percussion. For this special project, I called Cuong Vu on trumpet, which fantastic sound is famous in Pat Metheny’s band from 2002 to 2006. The rest of the band is made of fabulous musicians and great friends that I met since 2011, when I started to work with the music community in Vietnam: My Linh, a fantastic singer that everybody know, and my favourite traditional musicians in the country: Mai Le (dan tranh), Hoang Anh (flute) and Hung Quang Nguyen (dan Bau and dan Nguyet). Then on saxophone we have Mister Jazz Vietnam, Tran Manh Tuan !

We will be playing most of the Tales from Viet Nam repertoire with some new arrangements (Ly Ngua O, Treo Len Quan Doc, Qua Cau Gio Bay, Nguoi Oi Nguoi O Dung Ve…) plus some more recent arrangements of popular songs like Chiec Khan Pieu & Beo Dat May Troi. These old songs will sound like new compositions through my distinctive writing and of course the creative interpretation of the musicians. Can’t wait to hear the rebirth of this «Tales from Viet Nam», which inaugurated in 1995 the meeting of contemporary jazz with Vietnamese traditional music!!!

NGUYEN LE
Photo Credit: Macha Mosconi

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