By Jocelle Koh
What happens when music from one of Asia’s foremost cultural centres is displaced in a concrete jungle like New York? One can only know for sure by attending the Taiwanese Waves event at New York’s legendary SummerStage venue on the 29th of July.
After the success of last year’s showcase which drew the biggest crowd recorded in SummerStage’s 30 year history, Taiwanese Waves is back again this year, featuring award-winning Taiwanese artists such as Sangpuy, FireEX, Berry J and Dadado Huang.
Boasting three of Taiwan’s uniquely skilled musical acts, Yen expressed that this years’ showcase is focused on showcasing Taiwan’s diverse set of cultures.
“Both New York and Taiwan are made up of many diverse cultures. This year we are bringing three sets representing three styles and three languages, Mandarin, Taiwanese and Puyuma.”
This years’ lineup will not just be performing in Mandarin, but also in the other dialects and languages that are native to Taiwan. Performing this year are Sangpuy, the winner of Taiwan’s 24th Golden Melody Awards in Indigenous Music, indie folk legends Berry J and Dadado Huang and FireEX, the band behind runaway hit ‘Island’s Sunrise’.
Showcase organiser Mia Min Yen spoke to us about her intention behind organising the performance, revealing her passion for crossing cultural barriers and encouraging diversity. In particular, given her Taiwanese heritage she describes her motivation to share their music as her means of giving back:
“I am proud of the music from my hometown, it is the roots of how I got into the music scene; that is why I want to share it with the whole world. It is same as if you took a good photo and you want the whole world to see it; or you read a good book, and you want everyone around you to read it. I’m sharing what I am passionate about… Good music crosses (cultural) boundaries. It is just a matter of when and where you get to exposed to that music.” Thus, I would like to create this platform/an opportunity for people in the west to hear, to see, to have a taste of what music in the east sounds like.”
Indeed, given the success of last years’ showcase, this years’ is sure to wow audiences and provide them with an even greater insight into Taiwan’s music beyond its bubblegum exterior.
This event is hosted by Taiwanese Waves, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bureau of Tourism, Fubon Cultural and Educational Foundation, Teresa Teng Foundation, McSam Hotel Group, China Airlines, On-Line Entertainment and multiple local businesses in New York.
Taiwanese Waves will be held at SummerStage in New York (Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (East 69th St, New York) at 6PM on the 29th of July. Entrance is free.