Beijing TV "Life" Channel has filmed an interview with Gao Fang, myself, Evie and Evie's Grandparents. This time we spoke about how we met and our life together. Good fun. Evie even took a nap on my lap while we were interviewing. It will air nationwide in China the 17th November. Stay tuned for a link!
A reason to SING! I am in Guangzhou (south of china) about to embark on a week of "modern" music at Xing Hai University. Here with other Berklee faculty, we've got a week of fun filled musical activities forming...
I feel very honoured to be a part of the faculty group teaching! I'll let you know how it goes…we start tomorrow morning. This is Berklee's first time in Asia with "Berklee on the Road" program.
Oh I do like making history. : )
Not only does this show include a wonderful group of women, it is in English and features my new electronic project (we got to perform at the end of the show)!
Worldwide broadcast, will also be online to view. English language. CCTV
Featuring Jocelyn Eikenburg (www.speakingofchina.com) and Marie Smurthwaite. We are all foreign wives of Chinese guys. I think it's a very positive interview.
Will post the link as soon as it's available. It's on CCTV English News station, Saturday Sept 26 at 10pm (China time). The show is called "Crossover," hosted by the lovely Eyee Hsu.
Yesh Ya'll. My classmate from Berklee College of Music, Sean Nowell, a total sax-baddass is in Beijing Town. We slammed the East Shore Jazz Cafe on Sunday night, and we're gonna do it one more time tonight at DDC CLUB.
Honestly, playing jazz these days is SHEER PLEASURE. And the people we're playing with are all of the same mind.
It's gonna be an absolutely excellent music adventure.
Good days and nights happening in Beijing at the moment. This morning Beijing skies put on a spectacular show of clouds, sunlight, half moon and a temperate wind. Birds tweeting, sun speckled all over the place. Mountains show up to give the city a visual hug.
Next week Gao Fang and I begin filming for an English-language Chinese TV Show called "Crossover." The show will include discussions about being a mother in China, and a live performance from my electrio, Chinatown. Nice.
We now have shows scheduled for the following venues in May:
May 16 - Caravan (new hip Moroccan Restaurant Bar on Ritan Beilu) 9pm
May 20 - School Bar (Wudaoying Hutong) 9pm (featuring Gao Fang's band SWARM as well)
May 23 - AO CLUB, Sanlitun SOHO, 9pm
Then in August, I'm filming a new Chinese TV Show. This one will be interesting. I'll give more details as they come.
Stay tuned in!
be the first to hear Chinatown online. This song is called "The Light." PS. Toddlers love to dance to this.
Spring has sprung! Energetically explosive, colors abound. Gao Fang (my husband) and I are getting ready for some great shows…This spring we are featured in the May holiday music festival (May 1-3), Li Xiang Music Festival in Pinggu (a subburb north of Beijing). Hope if you're in town that you'll join us for these momentous musical endeavors:
April 22, Jiang Hu Bar, 9:30pm 40rmb
May 1, SCHOOL Bar, 2pm-5pm FREE
May 2, Lixiang Music Festival, 4pm
Last summer, I joined the very famous singer Gong Lin Na for a 6-voice accapella piece that her husband, Lao Luo (a German composer) composed. It's a beautiful piece, mesmorising and seeped in Chinese Traditional scales and traditions. But it is not tradition in the sense that this kind of composition would never happen 100 years ago. Lao Luo's unique twist on the traditional was really a magical thing to perform on stage together with these very talented ladies.
Watch the video HERE
Beijing Television asked if we'd be interested in appearing on a cooking/life tv show, which aired during the Chinese Spring Festival Holiday. Despite the constant chatter and sound effects, I find that we presented well. Even if you don't speak Mandarin, it is entertaining!
the link is here: http://www.letv.com/ptv/vplay/22007416.html?ref=baiduletv
The year of the Ram begins February 19th! All of China is shutting down for the new year. T'is my favorite time of the year because there is no traffic, and usually low pollution. Woo! My lovely old Beijing comes back to me and woos my heart.
Lots of goodness happening! Another Chinese Tv show aired last week staring me (and 5 other laowai - foreigners). This one was a game show type setting; a bit goofy but lots of fun. There is another "cooking/talk show" to be aired on 初六 Feb 24th, 6pm on Beijing TV (Life Channel). I also recorded a podcast with Sinica (Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn) where we spoke about the good old days of Beijing in the late 90's. Most thrilling and gratifying, I starred in a short film that will be released hopefully by the end of the year.
Gao Fang and I are recording the vocals to our project "Chinatown" which will be released by spring.
Wishing you all great prosperity, wonderful health and lots of satisfaction from action! Happy EWE Year!
I've often made a silent goal of getting my music into television. This particular opportunity showed up at my door a few months ago to shoot a documentary about me, my music, my life, in china. It just aired nationally (and internationally where CCTV is available) on October 25th, and is available online
It's all in Chinese, with english subtitles.
Here is the link! Enjoy!
There have been a some really amazing recognition-excitement moments in my life. I can't list them all but a few come to mind:
Hailing a cab, two boys got out, and said something in Chinese. The driver asked me if I was the singer of a band, as the two guys were saying, "Hey that's the vocalist for Junglecat."
Another was on a plane ride back from the US to Beijing, "What Women Want" (the Chinese version) was one of the movies. I was walking from the back of the plane and saw myself on the little tv screen. Neato.
Most recently, I was invited to the premiere of the movie Cui Jian recently directed, "Blue Sky Bones." Two years ago, he asked me to come to his studio to record a song for a movie he was making. I had no idea that the song would be placed at the very end of the movie, at the "apex" of realizations in the story. Sitting in the theater, my voice resounding about the room in Maxitron-Dolby-Superduper sound was truly a memorable experience.
The movie is interesting. Very Cui Jian. Check it out.
"You guys are great. Where can I get your album?" Very soon (December-January)!
"You don't sing from your throat, you sing from your soul." Very cool, in fact, I do both.
"We loved the 'over the ocean' song!" That's called "The Light."
"That song about feeling cozy and falling in love is my favorite." I love that song too. It's called "Cozy."
"The guitarist is fantastic, and the bassist is awesome. Simple and perfect." Gao Fang (gtr) Xia Ning (bass)
"You remind me a little of Ursula Rucker." I was into her a couple of years ago.
"You guys sound a bit Morcheeba-esque." I have never listened to them.
"When is your next show?" October 17th (Blue Stream Bar), November 1st (Jianghu Bar)
Well dear Jess Meider fans, we are officially open for business.
Jess Meider featuring Chinatown is the new music's name. We're performing actively this autumn in Beijing. We started out with Jianghu Bar, September 5th, and it was a great show. We were honored to be photographed by an amazing photographer, Aurelien. He has a great eye and his photos are brilliant and really capture the moment. His site and more photos of Chinatown are here: http://blog.foukography.com/post/96971350889/chinatown
October 4th at VA Bar
October 17th at Bluestream Bar
November 1, Jianghu Bar (with Bu Dao Weng Band)
We also finished the shooting for a tv documentary about my music and life in China for CCTV4. It will be airing in October.
Until the next blog!
August 29th in Zhou Shan (an island off of Ningbo), Gao Fang and I will be debuting our new music. It's electronic-y and very SHUFU (comfortable). The music festival is big and lots of great acts. See the billboard below, along a boardwalk in Zhou Shan.
After we premiere our new music in Dong Hai's festival, we'll come back up to Beijing for a show at JIANG HU BAR on September 5th. We're playing with another band called "weebles wobble but they don't fall down" (but in chinese).
At the same time, CCTV will be documenting the next 10 days of our musical life to be aired in China at the end of September. Super fun. They will be filming at both of our shows, so if you wanna get in on the camera action, come out and support us!
What is Chinatown? You might be wondering. Even though we're billing the shows under my name, Chinatown is the name of our project. Jess Meider, featuring Chinatown, for example. We'll be posting new music online for your listening VERY soon. : )
Yes! My second performance at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. My first was for the 9 Gates Jazz Festival in 2006 with an electronic-live dnb project. It was very difficult in such a place to balance acoustics like those of Junglecat. But this time, (June 8th, 2014) I was on stage performing with almost no sound equipment. My friend, Gong Lin Na, who happens to be an amazingly talented traditional Chinese vocalist, invited me to sing with a 6-woman "vocalist team." Her husband, a German composer who has studied traditional Chinese music, showcased some beautiful compositions in various arrangements. From 3 GuZheng (zithers) to 8-12 piece bands to our 6-woman accapella vocal group, the evening was filled with flavors of China mixed with tasteful creativity. This is VERY rare to hear. The musicianship was marvelous. Robert did a great job. The photos featured above are back stage with the 'getting all gussied up' ladies, as well as the Zhong Shan Park (where the concert hall is located). It had rained earlier in the day and the results were tremendous skies with proper fluffy clouds. What a magical summer Sunday evening.
It was also a learning experience and an honor to work with Gong Lin Na and all the vocalists. I'm currently writing a blog about my vocal experiences...falls directly in line with QI (energy) DAN TIAN (core chakra) and more...
There was a TV interview with Linna and her husband, Robert that aired last week. It's over an hour long, but at the end it features us singing a part of the piece we performed the other night. Watch it HERE
A friend of mine, Ember Swift, does alot of writing for publications, recommended me to write an article for China.org (a China publication) in honor of the CNPC meetings that happened last week. The subject was about "my China dream." At first I didn't think that I could write something, especially after 7 days of CRAP pollution. I was feeling very "shang xin" (heart broken). But I had a window (kid asleep), and I went for it. This is what came out. And they published it. :) Cool.http://www.china.org.cn/china/Chinese_dream/2014-03/10/content_31735727.htm
Happy Lunar Horse Year (starts January 31)
Sitting here in my Beijing home, warm, baby sleeping while fireworks go off in rattatatta, boom boom! Incredible, is usually the word I think while inundated by the crazy amounts of fireworks. This year, however, is much more sedate (price of fireworks is up) compared to years past.
Between being a mother and working I forgot the nicest thing to do during this time is to think of intentions, goals and dreams for the new year. Realizing intentions is just as natural as the seasons. Winter is hibernation time, the time to go inward, to dream, to imagine. Spring; plant those seeds! and watch them grow through the heat of summer.
What happens in the year of the horse? Think of the qualities of a horse, then translate them into your life. I think of power. Self-empowerment, the power to make things happen. Endurance...enduring love and balance and will power.
Much love from the bing! bam! boom! of Beijing : )
I sit in my warm apartment cozy and full of holiday foods and conversations. Life is quietly good, as the wind blow frigid air like big chunks of glaciers into the city. People are bundled with big puffy down costumes that make people look more like penguins waddling around and riding bicycles (despite the blustery breezes). The inevitable hibernation of winter. I've got sleep to give my bones and time to do it.
A long while ago, I had some direction from a fellow friend and life coach. There was the question posed - "If money was no object, what would you be doing right now?" Soon after this, another coach/friend also asked me, "If you were to die tomorrow, what would you regret most?"
Both of these questions are riveting and produce the same answer: what you want. This is a question that is good to ask yourself often; I found in my life's messiest moments, it was usually because I didn't have a clear idea of what I really wanted.
I have been busy with teaching vocal lessons. It's been incredibly enjoyable to hear the results in students. I feel I'm a well-aligned as a teacher (and always learning), so this "work" is quite satisfying and joyfull. But if money weren't an object, would I be doing it? My honest truth is, Nope.
So, in honor of all that is good, here comes the music. New album. Yay. We've started the recording process. What kind of album is it? Let's just say, it's a good one. Really good. I don't like to project my own feelings about a project, but hey, I am super excited. Stay tuned.
I've also been very impressed with the Chinese Medicine treatments I've been getting for the past 3 years (once a week). My body is increasingly more sensitive; my awareness deepens in stages that completely amazes me. I'm so glad for this sensitivity because it gives me a clue as to what my daughter is feeling (since she's in a brand new body). Everything is more sensational...it is only over time that the senses overlook the wonderful details that life is constantly giving us. I'll write more in my TCM blog soon. It's just more challenging to get any thoughts down. As a mother of a 1 year old, there are just so many other things to do in the nap down-times.
Wishing you all wellness and lots of letting go of what is not serving you. I know I am welcoming these loving intentions.
ah autumn, my favorite.
howdy dear ones. happy autumn for me. happy birthday too. that's right, if you forgot, this end of virgo virgo just celebrated with family in the US. it was a great trip, everyone loved meeting our little babe and my new husband (and seeing me after not being home for 2 years).
the news is, i am enjoying motherhood. i love this little person that we've made. it's quite incredible and i am learning more and more about presence and practicing balance in my life. it really makes a huge difference that my husband and i can be mostly at home with her daily...i get comments on how balanced and happy our baby is, and i think it's to do with how laid back and at ease both of us are. if it's ever possible to be a stay home parent somehow, do it. it makes the world of difference.
fang and i are making new music. getting demo tracks down, lyrics written, melodies sung...it takes time as we baby step through our days. i don't mind the pace. it's nice that it's intermittent. my listening and imagining skills are more and more keen and strong because i can't just pick up my guitar and play. i write song parts in my head, and record them when i get the chance. it helps that fang is constantly playing the track over and over as he writes and tweeks it. evie is extremely familiar with all the songs and dances anytime they come on. : ) fun.
i'm still teaching vocal lessons privately, as well as yoga in one of asia's most loved yoga studio, The Yoga Yard. all the teaching is incredibly nourishing for me. if you are interested in knowing more about my teaching techniques (i call it 'vocal gongfu') click here. my rates are reasonable and the lessons are recorded so you can take the practice into your own hands.
at the moment there are no public concerts scheduled. i am still singing jazz and my original material for high profile events, weddings and fashion shows. it's great fun to get very glammed up and sing on stage, even if it's for a bunch of rich folk eating a fine hotel 6 course meal.
i am also singing alot of commercials. the latest is for an audi spot that has been airing for the last few months in china. jess, the household anonymous songstress airs so much i cannot imagine...if only they knew...it's me! you can listen/watch it here
i'll also be featured in the Beijing Kid's Guide coming out very soon - i wrote about my birthing experience at beijing untied family hospital. it's cool to be published again. :) the last time was in my berklee mentor's book about lyric writing (pat pattison).
back in beijing. here comes the oct 1st national holiday...looking forward to lots of people leaving the city less polluted and less cars on the road. hope where ever you are, you are creating goodness and balance in your center.
remember, my albums are on itunes! please, give the gift of original music to your friends or family. it helps to perpetuate the good aural vibes into the world. :)
(for your smile for the day - these photos are my little one's first strawberry.)
certainly a season here in beijing is the land of the foggy lung. starts in mid june and carries on smoggily until some wind picks up in early september. everything is moist. my new baby is very moist. this weather just annunciates wet. it's recommended to get out when it's like this. go somewhere beautiful.
i've been really enjoying the private voice and songwriting students i am teaching. they are a delight to see their weekly improvements. this method of teaching is so gratifying, because the student practices simple things, they can really notice the difference in their voices. it's like watching flowers bloom or using a 'squeegy' wipe across a dirty window.
this year, there has been a major lull in my performances for events (due to budget slashes across the board in event companies), so i started to wish out into the universe for something new to come along in my work experiences. and, just as it always provides, the universe brought to me the work of creating an audio 'brand' for a major chinese worldwide company. it was a real trip to think about how sound affects us. i went back into my mind and started singing jingles and audio brands that i could remember through my life. i think one of the most famous ones now is the nokia ring tone. that will always stick out. so we went through the first rounds of meetings, and hopefully we'll (my husband and i) get into the next round of possibilities.
i am only performing privately through the rest of the summer, and then we will holiday away through september. finally, i'll be getting out of the country after being here straight almost for 2 years! hardcore beijinger am i...
hope you are all creating goodness and light in your neck of the woods. also i saw this yesterday online and was really inspired by it. with all the green space in a city, growing food really is educating and nourishing. if you have 10 minutes, check it out: Renegade Ecolutionist, Gangster Gardener, Giving it Away - This is Yagna! | Everyday Geetaeverydaygeeta.blogspot.com
It's a nice Sunday summer night thing to do, after you have some dinner out with friends, meander over to Gulou, catch a few new melodies in your ears. 2 sets. I think the ticket to get in is 40 rmb. It's a cozy place, great sound system. : )
I posted this under "for hire" but I forgot to put it up - it's the new Audi Q3 ad running in China. I wrote the lyric and melody and sang it. Have a look! http://v.autohome.com.cn/v_6_21804.html
Listen to Jess
Reverb nation player is free. If you would like to purchase jess's albums, search on itunes or click here.