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“A Revival of Traditional Culture” Yau Ma Tei Theatre Series - A Tribute to Wan Chi-chung, Guiding Light in Cantonese Saloon Music in Hong Kong

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Venue Date & Time Price
Theatre, Yau Ma Tei Theatre
$160, $120
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About the Performer

Violin: Tse Tsz-ming, To Wing

Percussion: Wong Kam-sing

Saxophone: Kan Sui-ling, Yeung Jaan-ting

Xylophone: Szeto Siu

Hawaiian Guitar: Chow Chi-kai

Bass Guitar: Wan Kai-ho

Xiao: Yu Mau

Yangqin: Guo Jiaying

Vocal: Chow Chung-nga

Docent in Cantonese: Ho Kang-ming

Tse Chi-ming (Violin)
Tse Chi-ming was born into a family of musicians – his father, Tse Chi-wai, was a famous violinist of the 1930’s.  He was therefore exposed to music at a young age.  As he grew older, he began learning various instruments in earnest, with particular focus on the violin and the erhu. Since retired, he has been an active participant of charity functions.  He was also a member of the Organizing Committee and adviser to the Canton International Music Festival.  He was an ensemble leader in the vocal concerts of Man Chin-shui, Leung Siu-sum, Law Yim-hing, Ho Wai-ling, and many more.  With decades of performing experience, Tse is recognized for his virtuosity, wide-ranging experience and a unique timbre in his music.

To Wing (Violin)
To Wing was born into a family steeped in the tradition of Cantonese music.  He began learning the two indigenous art forms under his grandmother and his father at a young age.  As he grew older, he received training from one of the most influential figures in contemporary Cantonese music, Wong Yuet-sang.  He studied World Music History at the Western Washington University and was invited to give talks on Chinese music.  To perform with a relaxing, elegant style that puts both the performer and the listener at ease, and for this he has won the acclaim of colleagues in the field.  He has released a CD in which he was the gaohu leader of a five-piece ensemble. 

Wong Kam-sing (Percussion)
Wong Kam-sing was born into a family of musicians, being initiated into music by his father when he was very young.  When he was a teenager, he could already play the guitar and the violin.  Wong’s career in Cantonese saloon music spans several decades, and he is famous for his percussion, both Chinese and Western, so much so that he is dubbed ‘the King of Drums’.

Kan Sui-ling (Saxophone)
Kan Sui-ling is famous as a sax virtuoso, but he is also adept in many kinds of musical instruments.  He began his career in Cantonese saloon music at the young age of 13, and was the accompanist of many famous stars in Cantonese Opera, which won him the accolade as a ‘child prodigy in music’.  His sax can be heard in the recording by the songbird, Sin Kim-lai, Tender Feelings Attached to My Love.

Yeung Jaan-ting (Saxophone)
Yeung Jaan-ting is a veteran and versatile music-maker who not only arranges music but also plays the saxophone, the violin, the viola, the clarinet and the piano.  He was a former vocal instructor for artistes of Radio Television Hong Kong, organizer of the Hong Kong Amateur Open Singing Contest – Pop Music Section, bandleader, conductor, host of the music programme on RTHK Radio 5, artiste of the former Rediffusion Television, the choirmaster of its first artistes’ training course, leader of a TV pop band, producer and host of a variety show in the Ocean Park, and a member of the ensemble at Hon Fung Cantonese Opera Institute.

Szeto Siu (Xylophone)
Szeto Siu is a veteran in Cantonese music, adept in the xylophone and the electric guitar.  He first picked up Cantonese song art in 1959, and was with the legendary Fung Wah’s ensemble in famous tea house saloons.  He was later accepted by Wan Chi-chung as a formal disciple, and this led to a decades-long career in Cantonese song art.  He was the electric guitarist in many of Wan’s recordings.  When Wan passed away in the 1980’s, he remained active in show business.  He held a concert to mark his fiftieth anniversary in 2009, which was well attended by the numerous students he has taught over the years.

Chow Chi-kai (Hawaiian Guitar)
Chow Chi-kai was exposed to the musical influence of his father, Chow Yik-ko, at a young age, and developed an interest in Cantonese Opera and Cantonese operatic music.  He was taught the erhu, violin and yangqin at the age of nine by his father, and by 11, he could also play the guitar, piano and other Western instruments, including Chinese gongs-and-drums with Choi Ho-kit.  He was the ensemble leader and accompanist in many operatic troupes and at many concerts.

Wan Kai-ho (Bass Guitar)
Wan Kai-ho learned Cantonese music through his father and later, Chinese music and erhu under Ng Tai-kong, and classical music and violin under Tsang Hon-cheung.  He worked as an erhu musician at the Chinese restaurants of the former Hilton Hotel and Miramar Hotel.  He was also a band player in famous nightclubs and ballrooms in Hong Kong between the 1960’s and 1980’s.

Yu Mau (Xiao)
Yu Mau is a seasoned virtuoso in Cantonese music known for his diversity in playing Chinese wind instruments such as the xiao, dizi and houguan.  He is particularly adept at accompanying the narrative singing of dishui nanyin.  Yu received his training from some of the most notable figures in the genre, including music masters Wan Chi-chung and Chan Man-tat, and Cantonese Opera stars Sun Ma Sze Tsang, Tang Bik-wan and Ho Fei-fan.  His knowledge of Chinese wind instruments has enabled him to become an instrument maker himself, particularly in the winds and pipes subgenre.  The instruments he uses are either made or remodeled by him.  Now at the venerable age of 80, Yu is still actively playing music in Hong Kong, Macao and the Guangdong area.  He believes in lifelong learning, and is eager to groom younger artists.  He is therefore a figure of high esteem among players of Cantonese music.

Guo Jiaying (Yangqin)
Guo Jiaying graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Music (Hons) and a Master’s degree in Yangqin Performance. She trained in yangqin performance under Chan Sam-lam, Cheung Yu-chu and Yu Mei-lai. She also trained in guzheng under Xu Lingzhi, and was the erhu principal of The Academy Chinese Orchestra.

Chow Chung-nga (Vocal)
Chow Chung-nga developed a keen interest in singing when she was young. She began with Mandarin pop, then turned to Cantonese operatic arias and made fame by singing after the style of Siu Ming Sing, so much so that she is dubbed ‘a New Siu Ming Sing’.  She has been performing since 1974, always appearing by engagement, and has released solo albums such as The Romantic Dream and The Sound of Singing at Midnight.

Ho Kang-ming (Docent in Cantonese)
Ho Kang-ming began learning the pipa at a young age.  He has a keen interest in the ancient repertoire, particularly in the more lyrical and expressive wenban.  He was a full-time musician with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.  In 2004, he was an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Hawaii.  He was invited by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and the University of Hong Kong to give performances, as well as the City Contemporary Dance Company to give live accompaniment on the pipa, between 2005 and 2006.



Returning in Victory



In Vigorous Spirit


Penang Beauties

Relishing in the Spring Breeze

Liuniang Gets Tipsy Three Times

Vista of Lan Dao

Blooming Flowers and Full Moon

The Beauty Yonder

Memories of Autumn

The Evening Primrose

The Toll of the Temple Bell

The Fragrance of the Lotus

It's Crazy World

Joyous Celebrations


Heaven on Earth

Vocal Music        

Enchanting Dreams (Pacing Horses)

Autumn Moon over a Placid Lake

Song of the Red Bean

Beautiful Water Lily on a Silver Lake


About the Programme

In 1940’s, the Cantonese musicians introduced various Western instruments like violin, xylophone, saxophone and guitar.  This type of westernized music with infusion of jazz element is called ‘Spirit Music’ and got popular in teahouses, dance halls and nightclubs at the time.  There were so-called ‘Four Kings of Spirit Music’, namely Wan Chi-chung (violin), Lui Man-shing (yuehu), Ho Tai-so (electric guitar) and Ching Ngok-wai (jazz drums). 


Tickets NOW available at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis)

Group Booking Discount
10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

“A Revival of Traditional Culture” Yau Ma Tei Theatre Series Package Discount
10% off for each purchase of standard tickets for any 2 different performances, 15% off for any 3 different performances, 20% off for any 4 or more different performances.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length
Running time of this performance is about 2 hours with an intermission of 15 minutes.
Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until the interval or a suitable break in the programme.

The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.

Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009
Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999
Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk


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