Jazz collective Fountain de Chopin, : Howie Tsui@Hanart & in the studio: CNY naamyam by Gregory Kwok & Nero Lee
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Welcome to The Works. I’m Ben Tse, and of course joining me and Ben Pelletier this week to wish you a Happy Year of the Dragon is Billy Lee, the host of The Works Chinese language version 藝坊星期天. As you can see, we’re introducing a new set to ring in the Lunar New Year. Later on the show, we have a song written especially for us in the naamyam or Southern Song style to bless the brand-new stage. Don’t go away. Before that though, for the new year, a look at an initiative to inject new ideas and nurture new talent. We’re talking to a group of young jazz musicians who’ve joined forces to set up a platform to promote jazz and make it more accessible to Hong Kong audiences.
The lion dance, Chinese acrobats, music, and Chinese opera, are all indispensable parts of the festivities as we celebrate the Lunar New Year. Originating in Guangdong, “naamyam”, also known as “southern song”, is a genre of narrative singing that was most popular in Hong Kong in the 1940s and 1950s. It was a major form of entertainment, often sung in tea houses. Many also liked to listen to “naamyam” during the Lunar New Year celebrations as well as at birthday banquets. Cantonese opera performer Gregory Kwok Kai-fai has been practising the art for almost 15 years and has played a variety of roles and characters. He has roles in several shows coming up as the new year begins, including two operas being presented to mark the fifth anniversary of The Xiqu Centre. For the Year of the Wood Dragon, he has written something especially for us. He and erhu musician Nero Lee are with us right now.