Conference room with the VP of the University

Conference room with the VP of the University

Every one in conference room

Every one in conference room

Flowers at the end

Flowers at the end

It was a very fascinating day yesterday at our visit, and concert at Liaoning University in Shenyang. The campus is really huge, and spread out with many buildings. We started with a gracious meeting with the vice president of the university Dr. Yong-Xin Guo. He is a very interesting, intelligent man who is a doctorate in Physics. Obviously a really brilliant man. They brought us to a beautiful conference room with gorgeous chairs in a circle. Big chairs. 2 people could fit in each one. Anyway we had a wonderful greeting, and conversation with him and some of his staff. He praised our arrival, said how important our presence was for the university, as we bring cultural exchange, and our music to the university. Our music would certainly be something they have never had before in the university, so he was very enthusiastic, and excited. After speaking for a while he personally presented us each with a gift. A beautiful black and gray box, which opened on a hinge, and contained a beautiful necktie, which was the exact design of the box. Very cool. We each individually accepted our gift with a bow, and a Chi Chi, which means thank you in Chinese. Then we were escorted to the concert hall where we were to do our set up, and sound check. After that we were escorted to a lunch with Dr Guo (the VP), which was so beautifully laid out. The Chinese custom of eating is a very sacred one. Very different from that of the Chinese restraunts we are used to in the US. The food was beautifully prepared. It looked like art as you can see on the pictures below. The napkins were set in a very particular, and specific way at each table setting. It was a real eye opener for all of us Americans. It sent me a deep message of how the Chinese respect their own culture. We ate and drank a lot as the wait staff just kept bring more and more food out which was placed on the round glass pedestal that turns for you to pick food off of each plate. The pictures below show all this. Anyway we drank a lot, and ate a lot just before we had to play. Also during lunch we had some great in depth conversations with Dr Guo about physics, Albert Einstein, and my son Miles who I told him is physics major in college. He was a very educated and fascinating man. I don’t personally know much about physics other than it is one of the more difficult majors to pursue, but I was really into the conversation with him. After that we played a concert for around 200 college students who were not music majors. They were very quiet, and afraid to clap, until after the first tune was finished, I explained to them (with translator of course) that it was alright to clap after each solo, and that we as players actually need them to do that as it motivates us, and makes us feel good. Well after that was said, they went nuts. It was like they wanted to clap, but were not sure it was alright to do so. When the concert was over we had CD’s and Rhythm Road materials, pads, pens, pencils etc to give out. Well they rushed the stage like a stampede to be first in line to get anything they could. The truth of the matter is that in this area of Shenyang, there is no jazz radio station, and they rarely hear this music. Many of them have only heard a little jazz on film on TV, and movie theatres. Many things are still censored here like You Tube, Facebook etc. So their accessibility is limited artistically a bit. This is why our arrival, and performance was so very valuable to them. We were again given a gigantic bouquet of flowers, which I again gave to one of the students. It was a wonderful start to our concert tour of China, as well as a great learning, and cultural experience for us. Check the pics below.

Tim gets gift

Tim gets gift

Jim surrounded

Jim surrounded

Concert audience

Masterclass audience

Lunch table

Lunch table

Scallops with peppers

Scallops with peppers

Goose liver on melon

Goose liver on top of melon and chinese fruit

Accepting my gift

Accepting my gift

Jim gets gift

Jim gets gift

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