Mar Vilaseca on Performing Jazz in Beijing and Guangzhou

By Ryan Gandolfo, February 15, 2019

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Mar Vilaseca is a special musical talent hailing from Barcelona, Spain. As the singer of Jazzneis, a band comprised of her father and other jazz musicians, Mar performed in front of audiences in Guangzhou and Beijing back in December during a five-show tour. 

When she’s not singing her heart out on stage to starry-eyed listeners, you can find her composing her own songs and collaborating with fellow musicians. We caught up with the budding Spanish star to recall her recent experience in the PRC.

What were your expectations before performing in China?
It was my second time performing in the country, so I had an idea of what China was like. My first time visiting was in Beijing two years ago, and it was a beautiful experience. I discovered a completely different culture, and I didn’t expect that it would be so interesting and new for me.

mar-barcelona.png
Mar performing in Barcelona. Image provided by Mar Vilaseca

What were some differences you noticed between the audiences in Guangzhou and Beijing?
I noticed the presence of more young people in Guangzhou, and that the city knew more about jazz and music in general. That was my takeaway at least. I had some conversations with a few people from the audiences in both places, and I remember really connecting with Cantonese people. At the same time, the audiences in Beijing were also really nice to us, and genuinely interested in our music.

Do you think your experience in China will have any effect on your music in the future?
Of course! I had the chance to meet a lot of great people. I’m looking forward to collaborating in the future with some musicians I met in China, and I also want to stay in touch with all the other friends I made. Furthermore, the whole experience motivated me with my writing and made me feel truly inspired and grateful. I think it’s very unique to have an experience like that.

mar-guangzhou.jpgWarming up at the Guangzhou Jazz Festival. Image provided by Mar Vilaseca

Give us one memorable story you had during your tour in China?
The first two nights in China were definitely the most memorable. When we arrived in Guangzhou, we met one of the volunteers at the Jazz Festival who offered to take us to a fantastic restaurant for dinner. Roger, who plays saxophone with the band, and I went with her, and afterward, we went to a great music bar called Let’s Music, where we were jamming all night with different musicians from the city. The next night, after the concert, was more of the same. After our show, I ended up playing with other musicians who worked at the LN Garden Hotel, Guangzhou, and I remember meeting a lot of great people from different cultures, with which I shared so many experiences and stories.

Do you have any plans on returning to China?
I do. There are some gigs coming up, and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon either for work or vacation!

You can check out Mar’s music on Youtube.

[Cover image provided by Mar Vilaseca]

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