Blue Note Beijing

A branch of the  jazz club opened in Beijing on Aug. 25 with a performance by saxophonist  and his quintet.  

Photo: Blue Note Entertainment Group

The choice of Garrett was not accidental. The Grammy-winning instrumentalist and composer first came to China in 2005 in order to write music after he learned about Chinese traditional music. He lived in Beijing for three weeks in a traditional house and explored the city extensively.

During this time he discovered that there was no jazz culture to speak of. Eventually, the experience inspired an album called Beyond the Wall, which earned a Grammy nomination in 2006.

In the meantime, Garrett has returned to China often to play at festivals and teach at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

He told the China Daily that he didn’t expect jazz to take root so quickly in the country.

“We travel around the world and present music to people,” he said. “So, for me, opening up for Beijing is special. I like Beijing and I want to give back.”