Composer, vocalist and instrumentalist Min Xiao-Fen is one of the world’s leading performers on the pipa, the stringed lute that has been an integral part of Eastern musical culture for millennia. Her latest album, White Lotus, engages with a relatively more recent art form, presenting a reimagined soundtrack to director Wu Yonggang’s 1934 silent film The Goddess. In duet with the innovative guitarist Rez Abbasi, Min infuses spirited life and soulful nuance to actress Ruan Lingyu’s iconic but still- controversial film portrait. Min will employ an array of traditional Chinese instrumentation and her exquisite voice to live score an English language-subtitled screening of this screen gem, considered one of the best-known films of China’s cinematic golden age.
Classically trained in her native China, Min Xiao- Fen served as a principal pipa soloist at Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra and was an indemand interpreter of traditional music before relocating to the United States and forging a new path for herinstrument alongside many of the leading lights in modern jazz, free improvisation, experimental and contemporary classical music. NPR Weekend Edition lauded Ms. Min as “one of the world’s greatest virtuosos” and JazzTimes hailed her as “a pioneer in integrating her ancient instrument with modern jazz and improvised music.” The New York Times raved that her singular work “has traversed a sweeping musical odyssey.” Min recently received a prestigious commission from the Smithsonian Institution to compose soundtracks for two Chinese historical silent films from the 1920s. www.minbluepipa.com
Awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021 for composition, Voted #1 Rising-Star Guitarist in the 2013 DownBeat Critics Poll and subsequently placed in the top-ten guitarists alongside luminaries Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny, guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi is one of the most original voices on the current scene. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, removed at the age of four to the vastness of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, along with a pilgrimage in India under the guidance of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres. www. reztone.com