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News Highlights

"Swing for All" gets the party going for Shanghai Expo (with photos)

Shanghai audiences were in full swing today (October 19) when Hong Kong's Saturday Night Jazz Orchestra and over 30 dancers from Shanghai Swings joined forces to put on a swing party as part of Hong Kong Week at Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo).

Hong Kong Fringe Club's "Swing for All" is one of the highlight programmes of Hong Kong Week with a total of four performances. The performances held this afternoon played to a full house at the Baosteel Stage of Expo Park in Pudong. Other two performances will be staged tomorrow at the same venue.

The popular Saturday Night Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1990 and has been performing at the Fringe Club for the past 20 years.

Its core members consist of five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, a pianist, a guitarist, a bass and drums and a singer.

The orchestra's leader Hirohama Takashisa said that swing dance and swing music both emerged in the 1930s but went on to develop separately.

"Performances of both swing dance and swing music at the same event gradually became less frequent, but they are together in Shanghai for 'Swing for All'," Mr Takashisa said.

"For this boisterous party in Shanghai, we transported jazz fans across time and space, not only with the legendary jazz repertories 'Basie Straight Ahead' and 'Shinny Stocking', but also with the debut of the 'Moon Song', newly arranged by pianist Jason Cheng, and originally performed by renowned Chinese singer Teresa Teng."

Singer Elaine Liu, the first Hong Kong female vocalist to perform with the famous Duke Ellington Orchestra, also gave a vintage performance. Ms Liu delighted the audience by combining the bitter-sweet melancholy of Billie Holiday with the subtle allure of Eartha Kitt.

Over 30 dancers from Shanghai Swings also participated in the party, where swing dance and swing music merged to give jazz fans a memorable afternoon.

Other performances during Hong Kong Week for Shanghai Expo from October 18 to 22 include "Spectacular for Expo" by the Hong Kong Police Band; a repertoire of mixed works by the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra; "Cantonese Opera Performances" by the Hong Kong Children and Juvenile Chinese Opera Troupe; "Contemporary Jazz featuring Ted Lo and Eugene Pao" by the Hong Kong Fringe Club; "My China Heart" by Opera Hong Kong; "Generation Singer-Songwriters Concert" by Hong Kong singer-songwriters and "A Soldier's Story" by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

For full details and ticketing information, please visit the Event Calendar section on Hong Kong's Expo website, www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.