What’s up everybody! We are in China! Shanghai to be exact.
This is only our second time here (we came with Michael Bublé in January) but it feels like our first because our stay was so short last time.
We landed on Saturday night (August 1) and did a full show the next day which pretty much kicked off the a cappella festival (Vocal Asia).
I kind of expected the Chinese audience to understand less of our English but that wasn’t the case. We did a Meet & Greet at the end and were lucky enough to be serenaded by one of the local a cappella groups – the name escapes me at this moment but they made me smile. Listening to voices blending still brings me joy!
Yesterday we did a Press Conference as the Vocal Asia Festival 2015 kicks off for the week. We sang one song and answered some questions.
I was very impressed with the vocal percussion of Kaichiro Kitamura from Japan who performed a short solo before us. We also had a chance to reunite with Deke Sharon (Music Director for four “The Sing-Off” TV competitions on four different continents and the “Pitch Perfect” movie franchise). I think of him as the Godfather of modern a cappella. I mean he started his group, The House Jacks in 1991. That’s got to be the beginning of the beatbox era of a cappella! I had a chance to catch up in detail with him at dinner that evening. Just as I suspected, a great dude!
We had a great time visiting the Vocal Asia office after the Press Conference. The Chairperson, Clare Chen, took us for an extensive tour and we were beyond impressed with her mix of business and her passion for music. I should probably mention here that Clare is the CEO of CJCHT Group, a shoe company. When I went through the display rooms I felt like I was right at home, like I’ve been here many times before. Why? Because her company is one of the top-selling companies to Walmart! No wonder I felt right at home. I see her shoes often!
Every area of her offices, which take up several floors, is infused with musical elements. An organ in the reception, a chapel for the choir she sings in, a vocal training room and musical architecture everywhere. It’s so beautiful to see someone so successful in another business following her passions in the arts :-). We had a chance to talk with her and then sing to her staff who weren’t able to make the show the day before (she had 150 staff members at our concert). She truly lives to share the joys she’s felt singing and has fallen in love with a cappella music over the years.
One of the missions of Vocal Asia is to get more people singing. So much joy comes from those that do so. As my manager, Helmut, said today, “Harmony thru harmony”— that’s actually a catchy phrase; I might need to write a song with that title :-).
As you can probably tell … I’m quite excited to be in Shanghai. Clare took us to dinner at a truly traditional Chinese restaurant for some spicy and tasty food. We all loved it! There’s nothing better than good food and good conversation.
So now it is Wednesday and I will be a judge for the 2nd Asian Cup A Cappella Competition later today. I sometimes have a rough time judging music because I love so many things but I’m sure I’ll have a good time just hearing the array of voices and talent.
over and out