Sat, 18 Sep 2021

by Martina Fuchs

GENEVA, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Fast-emerging British singer, songwriter and pianist Reuben James hopes to build more musical bridges with his audience in China in his new role as an ambassador for Chinese star pianist Lang Lang's foundation and said he is open for collaboration with Chinese artists.

"I'm very open to working with Chinese artists. I love the music that's coming out of there," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua before his sold-out show at London's legendary live music venue Ronnie Scott's, which opened in 1959 and is one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world.

"I can't wait to visit China, soak up the culture and hopefully make music with artists there," he noted.

The virtuoso musician has already composed for and performed with an array of international stars, but collaboration with a Chinese artist is still on top of his wish list.

James has recently joined the Lang Lang International Music Foundation as an international ambassador.

"This means the world to me," he said. "I went to see Lang Lang when I was very young in Birmingham, my hometown. He's one of the greatest pianists of all time, and he's such a big inspiration to me."

The foundation's international ambassadors are a select group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to music education for young people around the world.

"The foundation's ambassadors are mentors for young kids. Their task is to organize workshops. It's just such a beautiful organization, and I'm so proud to be a part of it," James said.

Lukas Barwinski-Brown, the foundation's chief executive officer (CEO), commented that "Music education is the perfect instrument to bring young Chinese and western artists together and create lasting bonds. Our international ambassadors work to promote cultural exchanges and dialogue between China and the rest of the world."

"Our young scholars' program, for example, offers Chinese and non-Chinese kids the opportunity to learn from Lang Lang himself and from mentors and up-and-coming stars like Reuben," he said.

Using his funky, playful jazz techniques and soulful, evocative voice, James has embarked on a mission to build bridges between different world cultures and musical genres.

"My ambition is to bring joy and love to people through music. I've been lucky enough to travel the world for the past ten years performing music and seeing loads of different cultures and meeting people from all corners of the world," James told Xinhua.

More Beijing News

Access More

Sign up for Beijing News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!