Mai Khoi & Pete Drungle: In the Ruins - Joe's Pub Live!
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A few months ago, a project was born between two musicians who have never met. Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese pop star turned dissident singer living in NYC. Pete Drungle is a Berlin-based neoclassical free jazz pianist. Connected by nothing but a Zoom call and a life-long devotion to music, these artists searched the depths of each other's souls for shared meaning and beauty. "In the Ruins" is the result of this trans-Atlantic, genre-splicing collaboration.
Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese artist and activist. At the age of 12 she wrote her first song and joined her father's wedding band the same year. She rose to stardom in 2010 after winning the Vietnam Television song and album of the year awards. Several years later she became increasingly uncomfortable having to submit her work to government censors and started the avant-garde dissident trio Mai Khoi Chém Gió. Working at the interface of art and activism Mai Khoi has developed her most unique art form to date. Her new sound is an emotionally-charged fusion of free jazz and ethnic Vietnamese music, with her most political, yet personal, song lyrics ever. Today, she leads efforts to promote freedom of artistic expression in Vietnam for which she was awarded the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. Her activism has, however, come at a high price. She has had her concerts raided, been evicted from her house, and has been detained and interrogated by the police. Mai Khoi is artist in residence at SHIM NYC and an Artist Protection Fund fellow.
Pete Drungle is an award-winning composer, pianist, and producer living in New York City. He has made music with Ornette Coleman, Yoko Ono, Les Claypool, The Kronos Quartet, Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Sean Lennon, Craig Harris and many others. As pianist, Drungle is an intrepid, adventurous improviser - possibly best known for his 24-HOUR CONTINUOUS SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATION. Wire magazine's Alan Licht remarked, "...Drungle's epic event pushed well beyond the limits usually imposed by the customary concert timetable; that he was still functioning at a high level of creativity after 23 hours of continuous playing pays new testimony to the improvisational mindset." (The last 30 minutes of this performance can be heard here). Pete's music compositions, performances and sound installations have been exhibited at Centre Georges Pompidou (Fr), MoCA (Los Angeles), the Whitney Biennial (NYC), The Cannes Film Festival (Fr), The Serpentine Gallery (UK), Wundergrund Festival (Dk), TransArt Festival (It), Chapter Arts, Wales (UK), Le Confort Moderne (Fr), The Kitchen (NYC), Performa Biennials 07, 09, 11 and 13 (NYC), Merce Cunningham Theatre (NYC), The Warsaw Jazz Festival (Pl), Alterna Jazz Festival (Mx), The United Nations (NYC), and many other music festivals worldwide.
“Mai Khoi might just as easily be described as Vietnam’s Björk or Laurie Anderson...If music alone could break chains, this would be the music to do it." - The Economist
Mai Khoi is the current musician in residence with the Safe Haven Incubator for Music NYC (SHIM:NYC), an artist-at-risk residency program recently launched by Artistic Freedom Initiative and Tamizdat.
SHIM:NYC (the “Safe Haven Incubator for Musicians NYC”) is a three month creative and professional residency and mentorship program for international musicians who are persecuted or censored for their work, and have been forcibly displaced. SHIM:NYC matches resident musicians with carefully selected mentors to provide artists with an opportunity to develop a specific work, hone their skills, and expand their professional network. SHIM:NYC was launched by Tamizdat, Artistic Freedom Initiative, and Westbeth Artists Housing in August 2019.
Like all Joe's Pub shows, all ages are welcome, but please be aware that performances may include adult language and topics.