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Shanghai music scene gets mo’ better

It’s taken me a while, but I have finally found good live music in Shanghai. I’m going to have fun exploring the city’s resurgent jazz scene. It may not be indie-rock — my music of choice back in the States — but it still rocks, in its own way.

My girlfriend’s brother, A.J. Khaw, an accomplished jazz pianist living in Miami, is in town for a couple weeks. We didn’t have time to set up any gigs, and as it turns out we didn’t need to. One night earlier this week, we headed over to the Cotton Club and Club JZ — and A.J. ended up on stage in both places. Check out the photos.

I’ve also seen decent live shows at the House of Blues and Jazz, but the atmosphere there is a little too sterile for my taste. To properly enjoy jazz and blues, I believe, you need to be at a place where the smoke hangs in the air and your feet stick to the floor. And, ideally, sticking to your ribs would be some good Southern barbecue.

Not sure if the pulled-pork sandwich will ever make its way to Shanghai. But right now, the jazz music is enough for me.

07.02.2004, 7:15 PM · Music, Photos


  1. Check out ‘Shanghai Jazz’ a newly released collection of old Chinese jazz on which appears (seemingly) all of the young Shanghai players.
    Ironically, unavailable in China at this time.

  2. Hi,

    I’m researching the Shanghai alt. rock scene. I need to know of any good record stores in Shanghai.

    Arre able to help with some names and website address’?

    Please email me at nick@fruktmusic.com



Shanghai Diaries is a website about Shanghai, China ... and lots of other stuff. Voted Best Mainland China Blog in the 2004 Asia Blog Awards.

Editor: Dan Washburn

Related: Shanghaiist and Mudan Boutique

Dan is a freelance writer living in Shanghai. More about Dan.

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