Welcome to the China gallery! There is a more formal introduction below, but for the impatient I will begin with a quick overview of the gallery organization.
That concludes the quick overview of the China gallery! I hope you enjoy your picture-viewing experience!
On June 12, 2004, I left for China with Cal Poly University Jazz Band 1. We would not return until June 22nd. Ten days seemed like such a long time before we left... but now I realize it was nothing. I will definitely have to go back someday. It was an amazing experience... I hope to preserve a small part of that here.
The beauty of modern technology has left me with a fantastic selection of pictures to choose from and share in this gallery. Almost every band member had a digital camera, and lead alto Nathaniel Martin thought to bring his laptop so everybody could upload their pictures to it. He then distributed the pictures on two DVDs to interested band members such as myself. This gallery contains my favorites from the band's pictures and my own (which of course carry some weight for their personal significance, and thus may not be judged by quite the same standards to which I hold the other pictures), as well as my own narration throughout. The narration may consist of stories, reflections, or just rants. I hope that the narration will be of some interest to visitors, but the primary purpose is to write about my experiences for my own future reflection (I did not keep a travel journal as some suggested... so this shall be it).
Some overview of the people and events may be in order... we toured three cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. In that order. We played five concerts: two each in Beijing and Shanghai, and one in Hangzhou. We were well-received by audiences, and the band took the opportunity to have a lot more fun with the music and experiment, which had great results both for us and audiences. I even tried putting a little bit more... show... into my guitar playing.
The band was led by Paul Rinzler, the director/professor/whatever (the guy who made all this happen and to whom I will be forever grateful), and Ping (surname Liu.. I'm not sure if I should write it Chinese-style, Liu Ping, or American-style, Ping Liu... so I'll just stick with Ping), our awesome tour guide. We actually had two other tour guides for Shanghai and Hangzhou, but Ping stayed with us throughout the trip. She was a very significant ingredient in making the trip the great experience that it was. I was even fortunate enough to get a personal tour with Ping one day, which was probably the most memorable time for me of the whole trip. The band will be introduced as they appear, but if I mention a name other than Paul or Ping, I am most likely referring to another band member.
The time-zone difference and constant activity (I would say "chaos," but you might think I meant it negatively) of the trip made it rather difficult to keep track of the days, so with the exception of my day with Ping, I will instead categorize the gallery by cities and events (although I suppose the day with Ping could be classified as an event...). I hope that works out and is comfortable to browse. I will try to at least put the categories and pictures in chronological order rather than alphabetical order. Also, although I believe all of the pictures in this gallery are worth a look (or I wouldn't have put them here!), I will use the rating system to draw attention to "must-see" pictures for the visitor who doesn't want to spend time seeing everything. With the number of pictures we all captured, you'd better believe me when I say something is a "must-see." You can't take that many pictures without stumbling upon some gems!
I suppose I'll put the prologue story here. In the very first version of our plan, we were to leave from LAX on the 12th (or maybe morning of the 13th... I don't remember). Then, in the most lasting version of the plan, this was changed to SFO on the 13th. This was an exciting change, because it meant that some of us, most notably yours truly, could go home to the Bay Area and meet the band at the airport. However, as I was enjoying my time at home on June 11th and looking forward to my plans for the 12th... I received a call from Paul informing me that the travel agency had screwed up, and we would in fact be taking a plane from LAX on the night of the 12th. So rather than shaving four hours off my travel time by meeting the band at SFO from home, I had the joy of adding four hours because I now had to drive all the way back down to San Luis Obispo so I could meet the band and get on a bus for LAX. So, World Projects is rather unpopular among a lot of people right now. In the end, it wound up working to our benefit because we got an extra day in China through this situation. But that does not excuse World Projects.