Viet kieu Jazz artist and zither player to perform in Vietnam

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Vietnamese-French artist Nguyen Le is putting on three live performances in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on December 25, 27 and 28.

The show titled Que nha (Homeland) features solo performances by Le as well as collaborations with local guest musicians and singers including My Linh, Tung Duong, Anh Em (Brothers) band and Van Anh.

Vietnamese-American Anh, also known as Vanessa Vo, is a reputed dan tranh (zither) player for jazz and new age music in the US. Anh will play the T'rung (a traditional Vietnamese percussion instrument) in Le's show. In July, the Hanoi-born artist returned to Vietnam to attend in the dan tranh meeting, surprising audiences.

Le's new collaborative effort comes on the heels of the success of his last Vietnamese appearance, in Hanoi this July.

Hanoian fans were amazed with the show's high quality, which exceeded expectations and imagination alike.

Le first performed in Vietnam via a special invitation from the French Embassy in Hanoi seven years ago. Born in Paris to Vietnamese parents, Le began playing the drums at 15, then took up guitar and electric bass.

After graduating in Visual Arts, he majored in philosophy, writing his thesis on Exoticism. He then devoted himself to music, creating "ULTRAMARINE" (1983), a multi-ethnic band whose album "DÉ" was called "1989's best World Music album," by Philippe Conrath of the French publication Libération.

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In 1996, Le created "Tales from Vietnam" with an eight-piece band that blended jazz and traditional Vietnamese music. The CD received great accolades from international critics. A stage production, directed by P. J. San Bartolomé, began with "Of the Moon & the Wind," a complete show featuring traditional and contemporary Vietnamese dancers choreographed to the "Tales from Vietnam" orchestra.

Jazz and world music are Le's two great loves within his passion for music.

Tickets for the upcoming show are now available from VND600,000 (US$30) to VND2.5 million ($125). The shows will take place at Hanoi Opera House on December 25 and HCMC's Opera House on December 27 and 28.

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