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June 07, 2009, 2:30 PM

Min Xiao-Fen's Blue Pipa Trio

Performance & Discussion
Participants: Dean Johnson, Steve Salerno, Min Xiao-Fen

Chinese pipa player and composer Min Xiao-Fen, a breathtaking virtuoso and courageous pioneer in both orchestral and underground projects, plays traditional Chinese and modern music. Min will perform her arrangements and compositions with her Blue Pipa Trio. Her music is influenced by Chinese folk songs and regional operas, and by Taoist music. It is also inspired by bluegrass, George Gershwin and Miles Davis.

Dean Johnson studied bass violin with the renowned Gary Peacock and studied piano and composition with James Knapp at the Cornish Institute in Seattle. At the Berklee College of Music in Boston he studied with Rich Appleman, John Neves, John LaPorta, and Herb Pomeroy. Since arriving in New York, in 1980, Johnson has free lanced with a wide variety of artists in the Northeast, and has had the opportunity to perform throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Israel. Among the eclectic artists Johnson has worked with are Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Art Lande, Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz, Nguyen Le, Steve Kuhn, Wynton Marsalis, The New York Voices, Jackie and Roy, Carol Sloane, Roseanna Vitro, and many others. Johnson has also appeared on over 50 recordings with a variety of artists. Performing in concerts and jazz festivals all over the world, Johnson has appeared with a number of well known pianists, including Harold Danko, Bill Mays, and Bill Charlap. He has conducted clinics at the Berklee College of Music, New Mexico State University, University of Northern Colorado, Ithaca College, and at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music.

Steve Salerno is a guitarist and composer who has performed in Europe, China, Puerto Rico, the United States and Canada. He is a member of the Ray Anderson Quartet and the Paul Smoker 4-Tet, and leads a variety of groups, including his jazz trio, Exiles. Among his latest recordings are Paul Smoker's "Mirabile Dictu," Ray Anderson's "Bone Meal" and Dave Lobenstein's "Triple Play." His classical group, The Constellation Trio, is the honored recipient of a NYSCA Decentralization Grant and a New York Cultural Affairs Grant. Salerno has recorded with Jay Leonhart & Tom Smith, Kevin Smith, Carol Emmanuel, Linda Ciofalo, Paul Smoker, Ray Anderson, Frank Bellucci, and on a soon-to-be released recording with the Mala Waldron Quartet. He is featured on the soundtrack recording for John Feldman's film, Dead Funny and is the Founding Director of the Jazz Program at Stony Brook University, where he is completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in 20th Century Performance. He teaches guitar at Adelphi University and an online guitar tutorial course for www.guitar.com.

Min Xiao-Fen is a composer and pipa player for both orchestral and underground projects. She plays traditional and modern Chinese music, interpretations of American Jazz and bluegrass, and her own compositions. She was featured soloist with the New York City Opera, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the vocal ensemble Chanticleer, the San Diego Symphony, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, among others. Her solo concerts include the Vienna Music Festival, the Utrecht International Lute Festival, the Geneva Music Festival, the Berlin Chinese Music Festival, and the New York Guitar Festival. Min has taught master classes and was an artist in residence at schools and universities across the United States and Europe, including the Juilliard School, the Texas A&M University, the Boston Conservatory, the New School, the Haystack Mountain School of Arts Crafts, and the Amsterdam Conservatory.

This program is made possible with funds from: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Blue Pipa, Inc.


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