"THE EDGE OF HEAVEN" LIVE

A new concert version of guitarist GARY LUCAS' celebrated salute to 30's Chinese Pop,

featuring FEIFEI YANG—vocals and Erhu

with JASON CANDLER—saxophone, clarinet and percussion


Gary packed The Loft at City Winery NYC on July 25th with many Chinese music lovers of all persuasions with his new trio project featuring Feifei Yang on vocals and erhu and multi-instrumentalist Jason Candler.

FLASH!! Three rave reviews of The Edge of Heaven Live at City Winery NYC 7/25/18:

A lost world of song from 1930s Shanghai found a new life at The Loft at City Winery NYC last Wed. night through the beautifully recast interpretations of Gary Lucas, Feifei Yang, and Jason Candler, with Mandarin versions of "All Along the Watchtower" and "Somebody to Love" added in to haunting effect.
—Geoffrey O'Brien, cultural critic for The New York Review of Books, author and poet

Captain Beefheart once asked in a song of his, "Oooooh, whatchoo got me intooooo?" Posing this question to the good Captain’s former guitarist and bandleader Gary Lucas always yields some fascinating answers. One of the past half-century’s most intrepid musical travelers, Lucas has done albums and concerts in more styles than even he probably remembers: heavy metal, Hungarian folk songs, silent movie scores, cartoon themes, and on his terrific record "The Edge Of Heaven", ballads from 1930s Shanghai.
At the City Winery NYC Loft on July 25th, Lucas brought THE EDGE OF HEAVEN to auditory life onstage. Not in its lush recorded form, mind you, but in a compelling stripped down version that relied only on Lucas' supple guitar, the lovely vocals of Feifei Yang, and the multi-instrumentalist accompaniment of Jason Candler. Accompanied by video projections of old Shanghai and explanatory stage patter from the musicians, the show included much of the Heaven material as well as the Lucas / Jeff Buckley chestnut "Grace" and some surprising covers. Let’s just say that you haven’t heard Bob Dylan or the Jefferson Airplane until you’ve heard them thrillingly transmogrified into Mandarin.
Apparently there’s a sequel to the Heaven record on its way. Here’s hoping that it will include a Beefheart song done Shanghai-style. Even if not, it's a safe bet that Lucas will keep on surprising and delighting us.
—Gary Lippman, journalist (The New York Times, The Paris Review, VICE), author and visual artist

Review from fan Brad Martin:
"Well, Wed. night's Gary Lucas show at the City Winery NYC was every bit as good as I expected it to be! Gary was accompanied by Feifei Yang on vocals and Jason Candler on sax and percussion in a program that featured wonderful renditions of Mid-Century Chinese Pop songs from the Edge of Heaven CD (and the forthcoming Vol 2) as well as a few other classics from American artists Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Jefferson Airplane—sung in Mandarin!"

1930's Shanghai, "the Paris of the East", comes vividly to life in a concert of dreamy 1930's Chinese pop, re-imagined by guitarist extraordinaire GARY LUCAS and his new trio.

Based on Gary Lucas' acclaimed album "The Edge of Heaven" and soon to be released follow-up, the hour-long concert showcases the heavenly voice and sinuous erhu playing of lovely FEIFEI YANG, and the swirling textures of saxophonist/percussionist JASON CANDLER.

Gary and Feifei Yang are interviewed about working together on Weiwei Gao's popular CCTV program.

On Chinese New Year Friday Feb. 16th Gary, Feifei Yang, and Jason Candler performed "THE EDGE OF HEAVEN" LIVE at The Laurie Beechman Theatre...dreamy 1930's Chinese pop with stunning projections of 30's Shanghai vistas by Kristopher Anton. Read an article from SinoVision about the show.

The show was also Pick in the Village Voice:

"Guitarist Gary Lucas gathers no moss. He has recently performed live scores to films by Renè Clair and Curtis Harrington, launched a funky Captain Beefheart covers project with singer Nona Hendryx, and played tributes to former collaborator Jeff Buckley. But nothing reflects this virtuosic maverick’s charm and taste more than The Edge of Heaven, his 2010 revival of the lush midcentury Chinese film music Lucas fell in love with while living in Taiwan. This collection of astringently sentimental instrumentals and vocals focused on Zhou Xuan and Bai Guang, two of China’s so-called Seven Great Singing Stars, with Lucas’s flowing guitar providing ongoing reinterpretation of the music’s nostalgic beauty. Here Lucas will revisit and expand his China adventure alongside Feifei Yang, a rising vocal star who also performs on the erhu (a two-string fiddle), and Jason Candler on reeds and percussion."
—Richard Gehr

See clips of "Grace" and "The Mad World" from the show:

Gary, Feifei and Jason take audiences on a journey to Old Shanghai, with shimmering renditions of charming melodic songs originally sung by renowned Shanghai divas Chow Hsuan and Bai Kwong—songs beloved by the worldwide Chinese community, and enjoyed by discerning music lovers of every nationality.

A fascinating blend of traditional Eastern melodies fused with Western swing, Tin Pan Alley, and Broadway influences, this enchanting music, born in the nightclubs and film palaces of 1930's Shanghai, is reinvigorated by Gary Lucas, whose inventive guitar stylings, coupled with the soaring vocals of Chinese star Feifei Yang and the hypnotic contributions of multi-instrumentalist Jason Candler, create a romantic night out in a Shanghai of the mind.

Add to this the sensual visuals of lighting designer Kris Anton—a rich tapestry of art-deco images of Old Shanghai and Chinese graphic design from the period—
and You are there...
in a nightclub in 1930's Shanghai...
on the cusp of
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN


Listen to "Spring in Zhong Mountain" and "A Tale of the Mah-Jong Game"


GARY LUCAS—A world-class guitarist and Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, Gary Lucas has been called "Guitarist with a Global Beat" (New York Times)","One of the best and most original guitarists in America" (Rolling Stone), "One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists" (Classic Rock Magazine), and "Legendary Left-Field Guitarist" (The Guardian). He's released over 30 acclaimed albums in the World, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Film and Electronic categories, and performed in 40-plus countries. Gary's salute to 30's Chinese pop "The Edge of Heaven" received rave reviews from the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and the Chinese press, and rose to #1 on the World Music Chart—with sold-out "Edge of Heaven" concerts at BAM, many international music festivals, and in Shanghai itself during World Expo.

FEIFEI YANG—A stunning vocalist and Erhu virtuoso (the two-stringed Chinese violin), Feifei Yang hails from mainland China, where she was awarded a Gold Medal at the Beijing National New Talent Competition. Feifei has performed at Lincoln Center, the Barclay Center, Carnegie Hall, SummerStage, New York Fashion Week, and at many other high profile events, and has served as a judge for CCTV's China Youth Talent Show Contest and China's National Youth Music Competition. She received a double 2017 Global Music Award for Female Vocalist and Popular Music, and recently duetted with Gary Lucas at Lincoln Center's Moon Festival, accompanied by the Asian Cultural Orchestra. Feifei has released several singles and albums, including "Tug of War", "Dancing Strings", "Vermillion Bird", and "Gu·Ran".

JASON CANDLER—Jason Candler has collaborated with Gary Lucas for almost 30 years, as musician (saxophone and guitar) and/or recording engineer. Their kinship has spanned numerous albums, and tours around the world, including appearances in Holland, Russia, and Australia. Jason has been performing with New York's legendary brass ensemble the Hungry March Band for 17 years, and acts as the band's musical director and conductor. He also is a long standing member of Karl Berger's Improvisor's Orchestra, and records/performs with Reverend Billy's Fiery Eagles of Justice. As a solo artist, his compositions have been heard on NASA HDTV, and his "Sessions" page at www.guarsh.com, an archive of musical ideas and collaborations, enters its tenth year this coming January.


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Backstage at The Iridium NYC with Gary and Feifei Yang at Gary's Gods and Monsters show 5/31/18

 


THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LIVE at City Winery NYC, 7/25/18


l to r: Gary Lucas, Feifei Yang, and Jason Candler
photo by Jesse Winter


l to r: Gary Lucas, Feifei Yang, and Jason Candler
photo by Jesse Winter


Gary and Feifei Yang at THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LIVE on Chinese New Year 2/16/18
photo by Phil Mango


Gary, Jason Candler and Feifei Yang at THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LIVE at the Laurie Beechman Theatre Chinese New Year 2/16/18
photo by Stephen Knittweis


Gary, Jason Candler and Feifei Yang at THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LIVE at the Laurie Beechman Theatre Chinese New Year 2/16/18
photo by Phil Mango