An eclectic program celebrating 20 years in the making of a New York-Chinese musical tradition.
There is no East River in China, but a Chinese band named after New York City’s East River has lived over two decades on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. EastRiver Ensemble began as a loose congregation of musicians in around 2000 who sought to reinvent Chinese music in a new idiom of the American immigrant experience.
This concert celebrates Mencius’s 20 years in the making of a New York Chinese musical tradition. Folk- and world music buffs will recognize the distinct tonal colors of our traditional instruments -- the two-stringed erhu, the yangqin, and bamboo flute, to name a few… and you will hear virtuosic renditions on these…But come also to take in our quirky arrangements, playful dashes of the classical canon, new beats given to old melodies, a spotlight on the low-key zhongruan, and elements of jazz and American old timey in the mix.
Established in 2003 Mencius Society for the Arts remains the only arts organization dedicated to the advance of both southern and northern Chinese musical arts in New York City (and possibly along the US East Coast). Under the current EastRiver Lower Eastside Chinese Orchestra Mencius remains also the first and only Chinese orchestra program that provides free lessons to youth and seniors year-round in Manhattan.
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
Expected Run Time is 90 minutes