Leading dan tranh players to rock out for the youth

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Two of the world's greatest dan tranh players will jam out together for the first time at the Ho Chi Minh City Labor Palace Saturday night.

Local artist Hai Phuong and Van Anh, a musician based in the US, will play the Vietnamese stringed folk instrument together in an event traditionally called a Hoi ngo dan tranh, or "dan tranh meeting."

Hai Phuong plans to step outside the traditional five-note Vietnamese song structure and use the 16-chord zither to produce seven notes.

"We hope to please the young with a new appearance that is modern and fresh," she said.

She also plans to play "The Whirlwind," a Japanese song, on the Japanese Koto, another traditional stringed folk instrument.

Van Anh also expressed her desire to impress Vietnamese youth.

"Young audiences are the ones who will inherit and feed our traditional music. That's why I choose to introduce world music in this show," she said.

"Breathing modern breath into works still based on traditional music will create a large and charming space for the new and the old."

The 90-minute show will also feature the bands Mat troi do (Red Sun) and Tieng hat que huong (Country Songs), who will contribute some of the show's 13 songs, many of which have never been heard in HCMC.  

Money from ticket sales (VND100,000-VND500,000) will be used to organize the third Asia Dan Tranh Festival, which will take place later this year.

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