Coco Zhao
(24 Jun 2019)

Coco Zhao

Coco Zhao

Coco Zhao’s unique voice, poetic and expressive singing style have seen him recognized as one of China's most creative voices.

His SA shows will see him playing with his regular pianist Jianyi Huang and collaborating with SA musicians for a Chinese-African version of his trademark jazz style.

He studied classical Chinese and Western music at the Shanghai Music Conservatory whilst learning on his own about jazz through videotapes, records and friends, since no jazz education was available in China.

His first career highlights were a collaboration with Betty Carter at her performance at the Shanghai International Jazz Festival (1997) and performing for President Bill Clinton's family during their visit to the city in 1998.

Coco has performed at jazz festivals and premier events including the Asian Cultural Council's Autumn Serenade, Jazz à Juan in France, Elbjazz Festival in Germany, JZ Festival in China, Singapore Jazz Festival, Hong Kong Jazz Festival & Copenhagen Jazz Festival. He has collaborated or featured with musicians including Sinne Eeg, Stacey Kent, Monique Klemann, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christina von Bülow, Jacob Christoffersen and the JZ All-Star Big Band, the premier large jazz ensemble in China, directed by Mats Homquist.

Coco has received extensive media coverage throughout his career, including on CNN, Huffington Post, San Francisco Times, Time Magazine, South China Morning Post, 60 Minutes, the award-winning ICS TV show “Culture Matters”, and his song Well Water Flower was performed by Chinese “King of Pop” Liu Huan on the show “Sing My Song”. Still based in Shanghai, Coco maintains a busy performance schedule in Asia and Europe. He is currently working on his next album, a project of big band arrangements of traditional Chinese folk songs & poetry, jazz standards & original compositions.

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