Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of New York
Founded in 1999, the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of New York is dedicated to the preservation, creation and presentation of Chinese traditional and contemporary performing arts. It is based in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York.
Named after an ancient piece of folk music, “Ba Ban” literally means “Eight Beats” which is the structural basis for the grouping of notes in traditional Chinese music.
The ensemble includes highly accomplished artists who have performed in concert halls around the world.
The ensemble performs on "silk and bamboo" (sizhu) instruments—a classical instrumental grouping dating from the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911) that includes various dizi (bamboo flutes), sheng (mouth organ), pipa (lute), zhongruan (alto lute), guzheng (zither), huqin (fiddles), and yangqin (hammered dulcimer).
In addition to concerts, Ba Ban also offers arts education programs. Since its founding, the ensemble has performed frequently in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, and Longy School of Music.
Some highlighted performances by the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society are: the landmark event, New York State's first official celebration of the "Lunar New Year 4698". Ba Ban appeared before thousands of New York Mets fans, playing at Asia Night – the first appearance by a traditional Chinese musical group at both Shea Stadium and CitiField. The Spoleto Festival's premiere show, Monkey: Journey To The West. Ba Ban collaborated with Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur) and famed director Chen Shi-Zheng.
Recent projects include a performance in front of the Chinese Ambassador to the U.N. and other dignitaries at the Chinese Consulate, called "Cultural Days". Produced "Shanghai Memories - Golden Sounds From 1930-1940". This show was the first of its kind to meld eastern music sensibilities with western jazz to form an original hybrid of music. Recorded the music for the off-broadway production, David Henry Hwang's "The Dance and the Railroad". Carnegie Hall's 2013 Musical Explorer program. Bloomingdale's first ever celebration of Chinese New Year. The formal ceremony to light up the Empire State Building for the Lunar New Year. Ba Ban was presented a commendation from the New York City Council in 2015 for exemplary contribution to New York City Arts.