Overseas Vietnamese music stars

25/08/2010

Khanh Mai, the founder of Tai Phong rock band.

Those who are interested in Progressive Rock, especially audiences born before 1975, may know Tai Phong. The band was established in the early 1970s by two overseas Vietnamese students – Khanh Mai and Tai Sinh – and three French people – Jean Jacques Goldman (who wrote several hits for Celine Dion), Stephane Caussarieu, and Jean Alain Gardet.

The psychedelic style, which emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues-rock bands in the US and Britain and has been revived in various forms since the late 1970s, heavily influenced Tai Phong. Tai Phong was very successful in Europe with singles like Sister Jane, Games and When It’s The Season. This band still exists with Khanh Mai as the only founding member.

The next generation of overseas Vietnamese artists has famous names like guitarist Nguyen Le, brothers Chris Minh Doky and Niels Lan Doky, and trumpeter Cuong Vu.

Singer Pham Quynh Anh.

Guitarist Nguyen Le was a member of the French National Jazz Orchestra. Chris Minh Dorky grew up in Copenhagen, Denmark but he works in New York. He has released five albums, including It’s Mostly Residual, which many prestigious Jazz music magazines listed among their top 10 albums in 2005. Cuong Vu is not popular with Vietnamese audiences but he has won many music awards, including two Grammys for best contemporary Jazz album in cooperation with Pat Metheny.

There are many more music talents coming from the overseas Vietnamese community, such as indie rocker Thao Nguyen in the US, Catherine Tran in the UK, who performed with Van Morrison and Robert Plant, the Magnetic North hip-hop band in New York, Thomas’ Apartment, an alternative rock band in California, singer Pham Quynh Anh in Belgium, Thanh Bui in Australia, and Alice Linh Svensson in Sweden.

Source:  VNN

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