Taking place from October 28 to 31, Hong Kong’s largest annual jazz festival returns with a strong local line-up at Freespace and Art Park in West Kowloon. As well as traditional jazz, this year’s performances include jazz reinterpretations of classical pieces, and experimental music by rising talents and established acts which, according to Kung Chi-shing, the artistic associate (music) for performing arts of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, “offer surprising and exciting new perspectives on improvisation, adaptation and instrumentation”. Here are five Hong Kong musicians to look out for.
1. Joyce Cheung, pianist
Jazz pianist, arranger and composer Joyce Cheung is a frequent collaborator with pop singers and bands such as Joey Yung and Grasshopper. She released her debut album Set Loose last autumn. On top of performing, Cheung is active in music education work. She is the co-artistic director at Music Lab, a local non-profit organisation that provides a performance platform for and connects musicians, and a university lecturer in the jazz programme at the Education University of Hong Kong.
Cheung will be playing the keyboard in Joyce Cheung—Jazzical Collection alongside her 13-piece ensemble on the festival’s opening night, a show that took ten years to plan. It retraces Cheung’s musical roots and combines her interpretations of world renowned works including Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu.