Layabozi

JZ Club’s chapter on Fuxing road is ending, and the music won’t stop.

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JZ Club, the house of jazz in Shanghai and China, is living its last days on Fuxing road right now. This Saturday May 14th will be the last gig that the beatniks of JZ will play in this location. Since the news about the closing of this location broke a lot of people reacted with sadness and disappointment, changes are usually taken with rejection by human beings, but I think by now it’s confirmed that JZ’s boss, Ren Yuqin, and his team have no troubles to find awesome locations for their projects, and JZ Club Shanghai being the heart of their institution might win a lot by moving to a new place. Think of a bigger stage, a better sound set up, a better lights set up, a better space for the sound engineer, and who knows, maybe even a better rooftop (though that is the hardest thing to beat from the one in Fuxing road).

Regardless of the feelings that have come up because of JZ Club’s closing, what is undeniable is that Fuxing road 46 will be left loaded with positive energies and brilliant ghosts in it, music had a fantastic home in that place, and so every person that felt a little more enlightened after listening to one of the thousands of beautiful gigs that were played on that stage. The good times certainly rolled easily and abundantly there.

To celebrate all the great moments hosted for eleven years in that house in Fuxing road here you have a tiny little sample of moments that will forever live in the hearts of those who made that place the beatnik’s paradise that was.

Gregory Smith, musician, Cotton Club’s abbot, guitarist of Les Hombres and close friend and neighbor of Fuxing road.

A great night with Les hombres and JQ, Willow Ju Mang and Sugar Mama.

[Youtube video]

 

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Gilbert Kuppusami, musician, drummer and singer in innumerable bands from JZ, including Lions Of Puxi, and Noukilla.

I’ve been in Shanghai for fifteen years and JZ Club has been a huge part of my career here in China. I’ve seen the birth of both JZ Club on Huahai rd and Fuxing road, I’ve been playing all around the world for the past twenty years and to tell you the truth JZ Club has been the best stage I’ve performed!! It’s the best crowd, the atmosphere is something I can’t explain.

I call JZ my church because is the only place I will hang even when I’m not performing or if I go to Cotton Club or House of Blues I will have to end up the night at JZ Club I’ve perform there with Lions of Puxi, Noukilla , Studio 188 ,JZ Big Band , RGP, Theo Crocker Afrosonic … to name some,  and I had the pleasure to jam with some big names like Claude Mc Knight (Take 6) Meddy Gerville, Incognito…

I’m very sad JZ is moving but I’m sure Ren will find a new place and keep the machine going

My former band Lions of Puxi (City Weekend’s best band 2010-2011) was formed in JZ one night we were jamming in the club, I think it was a Tuesday night not so many people it was around 1 AM  and Ren was doing the mix, he wanted to be the sound man that night. That’s how the band was formed. I have so many stories but not too much pictures or videos because so many things happened on the spot and didn’t bother to do video or picture just super good memories. Also, JZ has the best cocktails in town……at least for me!

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Gauthier Roubichou, musician, singer, MC, drummer. Bands: The Swing Dynasty, The Lions Of Puxi, The Word.

I remember when I first came to Shanghai in 2005, and JZ had just moved to the Fuxing Lu location. I used to know nobody and go there every night sip on some long islands and bloody marys. Bit by bit I met lots of night cats and ducks, and made friends. After training my ears to the sound of the people on stage, I would eventually in the early 2006, make it to the jams, sometimes on drums, sometimes on the mic. It was a wonderful feeling to be given the chance to “play” a little with the already masters that were there EJ Parker, Alec Haavick, Coco Zhao, Gilbert K and many others. I didn’t realize it, but in these interminable late night jams (we used to end at 5 or 6 am on stage every night) I was actually meeting the people who would become my musical family for the 10 years (and more) to come. I was actually meeting all the people I would form bands with! Swing Dynasty, Lions of Puxi, The Word. After getting some confidence and learning some more music with Jay Lasry and Vlad Ivanovski, in the early stages of 2007, we had our first Chinese band: The Swing Dynasty. Getting friends with Ren around some cocktails in the VIP room, I was tremendously excited, when one day, he called me to ask us if we wanted to perform the next Saturday night, with the gypsy jazz band. I didn’t know, but this was the first of a long series of packed , fun and successful Saturday nights at JZ, with guests such as HuQingWen, PengFei, HuDanfeng and JQ Whitcomb or Chris Trzinski. We kept playing every Saturday or every second Saturday, till we decided to create a reggae band. The Lions Of Puxi were soon to be born, and Ren YuQing would trust us with many more Saturdays. When I look back at it, I feel so blessed and honored, knowing where I started from (a young amateur looking up at the stars on stage) to have been performing so many times on that stage. Now that the JZ moves on, a new story will start, and I surely will wanna be part of it, probably because it now runs in my veins and helps me breath, when the outside air suffocates me!

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Erica Lee, musician, singer. Bands: JZ’s Big Band, Alec Haavik Friction, Afrosonic, The Red Groove Project.

I have many stories, to me JZ is one of the very few places that people go there for the music. It’s a very open minded stage. We made lots of interesting music there, that’s what I appreciate the most. I’ve met so many talented people, I’ve learned a lot from them as an artist, they make me think out of the box…but there will be a new one, so it’s fine.

Ben Denton, former manager of the JZ school

Ben sent a couple of great videos featuring the students of JZ School, this is one of the cutest and coolest.

[Youtube video]

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Voision Xi, Associate Director of Marketing at JZ and musician, singer of Little Happiness.

I believe every night at JZ Club is the best night in my life, even there were once we meeting awful people because of work. I can remember each night that I was falling in love with the stage and musicians’ playing. The night on May 4th, this Wednesday, was my first time playing the early set on the JZ Club stage formally. I learnt to breathe like a professional artist and sang the list that I chose for myself. Many young people are eager to perform here but I think I’m one of the luckiest! It’s the very first time, meanwhile the last time on West Fuxing Lu for me. It’s been five years since my first time getting here, at that time I was still in college and I took the train from Nanjing City, I came here too early cause I was so excited but there were almost two hours before the show started. When I met JZ Club, I cannot live without it anymore, I joined in the group for my favorite things. JZ Club collects and creates real music and real people, and I get to know jazz by watching the hundreds of live shows, which makes me feel very thankful, brave and encouraged. That’s how I became Xiao Xi as now I am.

 

Mike Brownell, musician, and Big Duck of Layabozi. Bands: Mark Bai’s trio, Tico’s Trio, The Word, and many more.
There were many nights of real, transforming magic at JZ, playing or listening, with too many musicians to list–some of whom I still see, and some of whom who have gone to other places or out of this world. It’s in the air, for a few more days, all the sweat and blood and brilliance of so many, at that little palace on Fuxing lu. Almost as much as the nights the stage seemed to melt or lift into the air, I remember hanging by the bar, or upstairs on the roof, talking, drinking, smoking and laughing. Almost all the friends I made in Shanghai (not least our own Mache!) I made at the club. It was our temple, but it was also our living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, the high and the low, as it should be! I had an apartment in Shanghai, but I lived at JZ.

Coco Zhao, musician, singer. Bands: The Possicobilities, JZ Big Band, Cocolicious, and many more.

Fifteen years ago, one night Ren came to PuJ’s(where I was performing back then) and told me that he would like to open a jazz club in Shanghai, I remember I said: do it! If you do it, I will come and sing there every night! Then JZ was born in 2001 on FenYang Lu, I still remember all the musicians who were playing in other hotels and clubs would all go to JZ after their gig, and jam and having fun till next morning… JZ was the sweetest home for all of us… Then JZ moved to Fuxing Xi lu 46 around 2003, we were so sad that JZ had to move, but from then till now, we had so much unforgettable memories there with every brothers and sisters… Now, our sweetest home will move again, but I am not sad anymore, because I know, no matter where JZ will move to, the love and music will never stop, home is where heart is, in JZ’s case, home is where music plays, no matter where JZ will move to, we will never stop playing music, and we will always let a song out of our hearts… And this song is you, me, and all of us

Here comes a link of where I sang in JZ live back in 2007… 分享 赵可 的歌曲《But Beautiful (Live)》http://www.xiami.com/song/1772927986(分享自@虾米音乐)

This weekend JZ Club on Fuxing road 46 will host its last two gigs. The program for both nights is fantastic, and I can assure you the party will be so loud and fun that the sound of these two days will be well recorded in those walls and very possibly will be hunting the future residents of the location for many years.

Friday starts at 9PM

Savana. Alec Haavik Friction Four. Latino Project. J3 Trio. And the Jam Session starting at 3AM.

Door: 100rmb

Saturday starts at 9PM

Tom Peng New Grass Band. Li Xiaochuan Quintet. JZ Big Band conducted by Alec Haavik. HRJ Trio. And the Jam Session starting at 3AM until we are done.

 

To finish. I was looking for a video of the Jam Sessions, there are just too many, and then I found this video that’s from one of the most beautiful bands that played on the stage of Fuxing rd. 46 , The Possicobilities.

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About the author:
Has 563 Articles

Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.

1 COMMENT
  1. Mike

    Nice work Mache! Beautiful.

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