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Freestyle - The Jazz and China

80', 52' (ENG, GER subs)
Is Jazz changing China or China changing Jazz? The documentary film Freestyle explores Shanghai’s newly regained ‘Jazz feeling‘.

The nucleus of the contemporary Jazz scene is the legendary JZ Club. Its owner, 36-year-old bass player Ren Yuqing, is also the head of the JZ Jazz School and the organiser of the annual JZ Jazz festival. By following the club owner during the weeks before the JZ Jazz Festival we break away from the Western stereotypes of China.

We meet a great number of professional Chinese Jazz musicians, all working on their own projects. They have all long given up copying Western Jazz models and have star ted developing their own Jazz style with a Chinese influence . In the JZ School they have successfully established Jazz improvisation courses, where students learn to break with the Asian tradition of perfectionist repetition of music scores and star t to understand music as a tool for the expression of emotion and individuality. We follow two Chinese students who also perf orm on the JZ festival. In a sense, Ren Yuqing could be said to be a musical ambassador of a new China, which has opened its longstanding cultural traditions to the world. The film peaks in the annual JZ Festival at the Shanghai Expo Park where musicians from around the globe came to perform in front of an audience of more than 15,000 people .

Original Title: Freistil - Jazz in Shanghai
Year: 2013
Length: 80', 52' (ENG, GER subs)
Resolution: HD
Film by: Mathias Frick
Produced by: Propellerfilm, ZDF, 3sat

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