Jazz club Blue Note eyes China market

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

New York - Blue Note, one of the world's best-known jazz clubs, announced an expansion on Thursday to China as it banks on a growing appetite for live performances among moneyed consumers.

The club (above), based in New York's Greenwich Village, said it would open a Blue Note Beijing in the Chinese capital in March and within three years spread to Shanghai and Taiwan's capital Taipei.

Blue Note will also open next year on Honolulu's Waikiki beach, a location chosen in no small part due to the popularity of Hawaii with Asian tourists.

The move comes as Western musicians from veteran pop stars to classical orchestras look to expand their footprint in China, eyeing future growth in the maturing economy of 1.3 billion people.

"Do I believe there is a large demand for jazz in China right now? No, not necessarily. But I believe we can help develop the music and the market," said Mr Steven Bensusan, president of the Blue Note Entertainment Group. He said the 250-patron club could distinguish itself in China by offering an intimate concert accompanied by food, which will be adapted to local tastes.

"In some senses, it's not like buying a concert ticket and just relying on the artist to draw people," he said. "It's more about a venue. It's a lifestyle place, it's a place for people to experience the music, even not knowing who the musicians are."

Aptly for a venue devoted to the American- born art form, Blue Note Beijing will set up at the renovated site of the former United States embassy near Tiananmen Square.

Agence France-Presse

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'Jazz club Blue Note eyes China market'. Print Edition | Subscribe