TAIPEI, Taiwan — American steelpan jazz fusion group Jonathan Scales Fourchestra will hold concerts and participate in other cultural activities in Taiwan in February, as part of the 2017 American Music Abroad program, co-organized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The U.S. jazz musicians will visit Taipei, New Taipei, Yilan, Hualien and Taitung from Feb. 9-15, according to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which is co-organizing the program.
In cooperation with local governments, the three Jonathan Scales Fourchestra members will present three free public concerts, attend workshops and give speeches in an effort to promote bilateral exchanges, said the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.
The three concerts will be held in New Taipei on Feb. 10, Yilan on Feb. 11 and Taitung on Feb. 13, with several Taiwanese musicians joining the U.S. group on stage, it said.
In addition to the concerts, the U.S. group will also perform a pop-up show outside Taipei MRT Zhongshan Station on Feb. 9 to share with local residents a taste of authentic American street music, the AIT said.
Formed in 2002, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra explodes onto stages with an indescribable sound that is as much felt as it is heard: “a Thelonius Monk-like attitude with a Mozart creativity” (Pan on the Net), the AIT said.
Steel pannist and founder Jonathan Scales’ “compositional skill mixes with tasteful, avant-garde improvisations to form an unmistakably unique approach to an instrument often associated with cruise ships and tropical music,” it added.
American Music Abroad is a people-to-people cultural exchange program designed to promote American music and culture on the global music scene.
As part of the 2017 “American Music Abroad” program, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra is scheduled to visit Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia as cultural ambassadors, the AIT said.