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December 26, 2017
We have returned from our tour in China and Vietnam. It was an incredible time of meeting incredible people.
I will list events of the tour in point form because it would take pages to document every experience. If you would like more details, you may contact me directly.
– We landed in Guangzhou, China a few days before our team trickled in from the USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Israel and Norway. On Sunday, Dec. 10 we had our one and only rehearsal ending the day with a concert at a Kung-Fu Club to an enthusiastic audience.
– Dec. 11 saw us in the famous Jazz Club in Guangzhou. One of the guests at the concert was a professor in the Music Conservatory Guangzhou. He asked me to lead a session of their big band the following morning which I did. He too offered us open doors to the Conservatory and other venues in this city of 14 million people.
– Nissan automobiles had invited us to do a concert in their facility for engineers and administrative personnel on Dec. 12. It was an interesting evening at the plant sharing questions and testimony with these gifted people.
– Dec. 13: A visit to a school facing a threat of closure by the Chinese government . The teachers, staff, parents and students were so grateful and touched by our visit. After the school concert we flew to Hanoi in Vietnam. That school concert concluded our time in China.
– On December 14, we were guests of Mr. Son – a very well connected businessman who runs a number of clubs and restaurants in Hanoi. He set us up on the street in front of his club and called the news media to the event. This was our second time with him and also have a standing invitation to return anytime we are in the area.
– December 15. This was a special concert arranged by the US Embassy for us. The Embassy has supported us with letters in the past so it was nice to meet the staff and the people we have been communicating with by email. After the Embassy concert we flew to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
– Dec. 16 – Our concert at the Conservatory of Music – together with a full string section augmenting our orchestra – was a great success. Joining us for the evening was the dance troupe ‘Saigon Swing Cats’ who kept the audience entertained with professional dance choreography to various tunes in our program.
– Dec. 17 – Our second foray into the world of the ‘Rich and Famous’ of Vietnam. The hotel ballroom was lavishly decorated in a beautiful Christmas motiv. Guests included the whose who of Vietnamese Society. It was a wonderful evening with some very influential people.
– Dec. 18 – We caused a traffic jam at a busy intersection with our outdoor sidewalk concert. Many people stopped their scooters to listen to the music and the message. One of the security guards called me aside and said, ‘This is exactly what we need here in Vietnam.
– Dec. 19 – We were invited to a brand new school built in the suburbs of HCMC. 2200 students from grades 1 – 12 attend this school. We had a full hall with an enthusiastic audience of about 500 students at 8 am. Right after this concert we walked across the street to a new large hospital. We played and spent time with patients and staff who stopped to listen to the concert.
– Dec. 20 – Our last concert day in Vietnam. We were invited to play in a factory producing cellphone technology in the morning. The staff and workers received us with such joy and openess. In the evening we played for a student society in a University on the outskirts of HCMC. A wonderful evening of good music and fun with the students.
Wrap up: I do not have the space to go into more details. The audiences and organisers in every venue were so enthusiastic and supportive. The musicianship on this tour was absolute top. I want to thank every musician who spent their time, resources and energy to make this a fabulous experience for all of our audiences.
I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a MOST BLESSED and healthy New Year 2018.