Shanren
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Shanren

Beijing, Beijing, China | Established. Jan 01, 1999 | INDIE

Beijing, Beijing, China | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1999
Band World Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
14
Shanren @ TSB Bowl of Brooklands

New Plymouth, , CHN

New Plymouth, , CHN

Apr
11
Shanren @ Botanic Park

Adelaide, SA, AUS

Adelaide, SA, AUS

Mar
09
Shanren @ Botanic Park

Adelaide, SA, AUS

Adelaide, SA, AUS

Music

Press


Formed in the remote Yunnan province of south western China, Shanren tuned into whatever stray western radio signals made it through the mountains, often with no idea what they were listening to. A lot of reggae would seem to be the answer, closely followed by garage rock, a blast of death metal and, curiously, some nifty Shadows-style stage moves, however those became manifest on the radio.

For their Womad debut Shanren have been handed the hiding-to-nothing slot: up against Billy Bragg on a micro-stage unfashionably close to the entrance. At first there’s a mere smattering of people who haven’t yet drifted off to reserve their spot for Femi Kuti. It doesn’t stay that way for long, however. A huge crowd gravitates to this unexplored corner of the park, their curiosity piqued by the choppy, folk-indie mix of ethnic lutes and electric guitars. Shanren conclude a triumphant set with a rousing version of Jiu Ge , the delirious traditional drinking song that went straight to everyone’s heads when Mongolian metal sensations Hanggai performed it earlier in the weekend, and will be remembered as the unofficial anthem of Womadelaide 2014. - THE GUARDIAN


Subtitled "And other Chinese folk-rock anthems", this marks an intriguing development in the Chinese music scene. Shanren come from the mountains of Yunnan, in south-west China (their name means "mountain men") and mix the traditional music of the local Yi and Wa ethnic groups with western influences. The album starts with a sound montage: chanting local field recordings matched against street noises from Beijing. Next, they ease into cheerful, energetic traditional songs, with their harmony-singing backed by traditional instruments such as the xianzi and qinqin lutes, along with bass, guitar and drums. Then they begin to experiment. A traditional Wa song gives way to Chinese rap, and Happy New Year mixes half-spoken vocals with an unexpected rock guitar riff. Most successful is the easy-going Yunnan children's song The Crab, which is given an infectiously slinky reggae backing. These are Chinese folk-rockers to watch. - THE GUARDIAN


Louis Armstrong slyly pointed out that, “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” Over the past couple of years I’ve been heartened by the refashioning, reshaping and recycling of folk music from around the globe. Bending, breaking or just simply deviating from the well-worn path has become the order of the day for many musicians wanting to blaze their own trail, while still holding on the threads of musical traditions. Interestingly enough there are no hard and fast rules of what folk music is and what it isn’t.

Traditionalists and ethnomusicologists, bless them, would have you believe that they are final word on the origins of a particular folk song or traditions, but that thinking is like everything else – it comes down to what you can prove. Unfortunately, one never gets to hear the astonishment in the voice of an ethnomusicologist when confronted by an even older version of a standard folk tune and finds it almost unrecognizable from what is generally accepted.

In this day and age we are treated to all sorts of collaborations and musical re-imaginings like Canadian guitarist Adrian Raso and his collaboration with the Balkan brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. Desert musicians like Bombino and Tinariwen have gone electric, and without the hoopla of Bob Dylan going electric. Esko Jarvela’s Epic Male Band had turned Scandinavian folk and rock on its ear. Northern Californian musician JeConte had teamed up with Malian musicians and Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo has recorded with the Russian contemporary pianist Anton Batagov. I’ve heard people tell of the extraordinary lengths to which they’ve gone to get a particular meal or a favorite food. Interestingly enough I think many musicians go just as far, or even farther, for a good tune. It’s just that travel and the Internet age has made it easier.

Well, there’s already something new on the horizon for Chinese folk. That brings me to the debut recording of south-western China’s Shanren and their recording Left Foot Dance of the Yi and Other Chinese Folk Rock Anthems. Set for release on January 28th on the Riverboat Records/World Music Network, Left Foot Dance of the Yi is an explosive re-imagining of Chinese folk with enough shiny edges melded to the burnished beauty of the traditions of Yunnan province to turn this musical road trip into a pleasure ride. Paying homage to the musical traditions and lifestyle of the Yi and Wa people and tapping into the growing expanse of modern music, Shanren is bent on luring listeners into respecting the often forgotten folk traditions by fashioning a sound that melds the old with the new and East with West.

Gilding track with searing rock licks and feel-good reggae beats, Shanren doubles the pleasure with traditions that include the intricate percussive techniques found in the Wa people, the four-stringed Yi lute or xianzi, the tooth harp and the use of the dabiya lute. Shanren’s band members, vocalist, xianzi and dabiya player and guitarist Qu Zihan; bassist, vocalist, tooth harp player and percussionist Ai Young; qinqin, jiajia and tooth harp player and backing vocalist Xiao Budian, drummer and backing vocalist Ou Jianyun and percussionist, flutist and backing vocalist Sam Debell turn opening track, “Wandering” with its field recordings of the Yi and Wa tribes against recordings of Beijing’s busy streets, into an atmospheric delight, while edgy rock dominated tracks like “Happy New Year” come across as savvy and fresh.

Goodies include tracks like “Drinking Song” and “Song of the Wa” that comes with a layer of rap entwined amongst the lush traditional vocals, while tracks like “Bi Ling Tong” “La Suo Mi” and “Left Foot Dance of the Yi” retain their pleasing folk feel.

The traditional Kunming children’s song “The Crab” gets a clever reggae makeover as does the following “Yi Wa,” but my favorite is the rock laced original track “Thirty Years” that plays vocals against some kick ass lute playing and percussion.

Equally entertaining is what musical genres have hooked the members of Shanren and how they have managed to intertwine those into these traditional Chinese folk songs. Left Foot Dance of the Yi delights in transforming the expected into something savagely hip. - WORLDMUSICCENTRAL.ORG


Hailing from Yunnan, China, Shanren are a folk-rock group that mixes traditional instruments with very catchy and enthralling melodies and rhythms throughout the entire album. Each track reveals something new and exciting. For example, "Yi Wa," contains a very catchy flute melody, while "The Crab" possesses a light, reggae backbeat. "La Suo Mi" is a triumphant marching-type song and melody. "Bi Li Tong" is a happy song with great lutes, drums, and Chinese musical effects. "Happy New Year" is a poignant tune with a little rock effects and traditional instruments. The opening track is mostly ambient voices as an introduction, rather than a full-fledged song. Still, Shanren is going to be the top new group in my player for the rest of the year. Enjoy Left Foot Dance Of The Yi today! ~ Matthew Forss - INSIDEWORLD MUSIC


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Mix of Yunnan folk and Western rock sounds like a Chinese-accented Jethro Tull with a robust foursquare folk-rock stomp


Shanren mix the traditional folk music of their native Yunnan province, in southwestern China, with Western rock music: the sleevenotes point at Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the actual mix sounds more like a Chinese-accented Jethro Tull, heavy on wobbly dabiya and strummed xianzi and qinqin but with a robust foursquare folk-rock stomp.

‘Song Of The Wa’ mixes striking polyphonic singing with incongruous rap. - THE FINANCIAL TIMES


LISTENING to their lively international debut album, it’s easy to understand why Shanren is not only at the forefront of Beijing’s and China’s steadily expanding roots music scene but is also a burgeoning force on the world festival front.

As the splendidly titled Left Foot Dance of the Yi persuasively purveys, the band has an unconventional and exciting style based equally on the time-honoured folklore of Yunnan, the mountainous province in the country’s far southwest (bordering Tibet, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam) and Western rock influences.

Rural and urban elements converge in a short set-opener that features a cappella field recordings of ethnic Yi and Wa tribal chants juxtaposed with street soundscapes captured in Beijing. The following piece, based on a Yi folk song, has harmonised vocals backed by the combination of funked-up traditional xianzi and qinqin lutes and standard rock backline.

Elsewhere, more traditional support comes from the metallic drone of dabiya lute, the twanging of tooth harp, layered textures of Chinese drums and an uncredited wind instrument that sounds something like a cross between kazoo and vuvuzela.

In other more hybridised and experimental excursions, a traditional Wa song transmogrifies into Chinese rap, a Yunnan children’s song is accompanied by reggae rhythm and a classic Status Quo guitar boogie propels a new year celebratory work that also features fireworks. Shanren’s set concludes with a lusty drinking song traditional to the Yi.

The band will assuredly woo and wow audiences at WOMADelaide this year. - THE AUSTRALIAN


Shanren: Left Foot Dance of the Yi and other Chinese folk-rock anthems
Riverboat Records, 2014

In a conversation yesterday, a friend mentioned that he had, over time, developed an appreciation for Chinese opera. "That's great," I said (while my thoughts said "Howling cats!"). My knowledge of Chinese music is admittedly limited; some throat-singing from the regions near Mongolia and Tuva, some traditional erhu artists, a women's drumming group, and of course the saccharine-laced Twelve Girls Band.

My appreciation for Chinese music has taken a great leap forward (if you will) with a new, very fresh album by Shanren, a group from Yunnan in China's southwest who are doing for Chinese folk what Deleon is doing for Sephardic Jewish melodies and Tinariwen is doing for Taureg tunes. Indeed, there's a common thread in these three traditions of struggling cultural minorities fighting for their traditions and, not infrequently, for their survival.

Shanren, the liner notes relate, draws inspiration from classic Western rock bands.

Reading deeper into the musical marriage of the two genres, the band came to see the outcast position of Chinese rock musicians as a mirror image of the Yunan tribes' struggle for cultural identity. Early Chinese rock and rollers were considered to be on the fringe by members of the mainstream Chinese machine and so their sounds were drowned out by the louder, brasher conventional pop music pumping out of urban cities.


Following the opening track "Wandering," which reflects the album-making process of traveling to the remote areas of Yunan to learn songs and instruments, the album shifts firmly into rock mode on "Thirty Years," with sparkling bass work and solid drumming that manage to leave plenty of sonic space for the traditional stringed instrument that takes the lead (the four-stringed lute called xianzi, I believe). Other tracks range from the rap-like traditional greeting on "Song of the Wa," to the reggae-flavored "The Crab," to "Happy New Year" -- which starts off sounding like the Red Hot Chili Peppers getting drunk in a Yunan karaoke bar before segueing into a melancholy ballad, then into a manly chant.

"Left Foot Dance of the Yi" may just be my favorite Chinese-language album since I discovered the folk-rock protest songs of Taiwan's Labor Exchange Band. And it's a great bridge album for those who may find more traditional Chinese music somewhat, um, unpalatable. - SOUNDROOTS


Beijing-based alt-folk quartet Shanren meshes rock and ska with the rich music of its native Yunnan province -- the mythical home of Shangri-La -- in southwestern China.

Shanren (which means “Mountain Men” in Chinese) formed after its members migrated from the rural countryside to the bustling Chinese capital a decade ago.

In addition to singing about its ethnic traditions, Shanren’s music also grapples with themes resonant to rural transplants and ethnic minorities. The lute-laced song “Thirty Years,” for instance, deals with migrants looking for work and love in the big city.

Download “Thirty Years” above and watch the music video for the song below. Shanren plays at Dock Street in Staten Island on Saturday night. - WNYC Soundcheck


About four years ago, when I was rooting around for Chinese music videos, I was sent a charming animation from a band called Shanren. The song "30 Years" was about the trials and tribulations of moving from the country to the big city to look for work. This is a motif that resonates with all working folks, and I won't even go into the hundreds of great songs dealing with this from the West's Industrial Revolution right through to today. "30 Years" describes what is going on in China currently, as its rapid industrialization is causing a vast shift in population from rural to urban centers. I was therefore already interested when I was contacted by the band's publicist informing me that they would be playing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Pianos.

The band comes from Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, with members from the Wa and Buyi minorities. The name Shanren means "mountain men." During a chat with James Pang, the band's Chinese manager, he mentioned that the people of these minorities live up in the mountains, are kind of wild living, like to brew their own liquor and dance. Being a lover of country music and bluegrass, I could not help but start drawing parallels between some of the characteristics of our own folk heritage and what I was about to see and hear. I was not let down. Listen to this music and tell me that you don't hear something that sounds remarkably like our own "Old Timey" music with its trance-like repetitions. People like banjoist Abigail Washburn have been mining these parallels for years, and you can hear why. (The band even uses something that looks mighty like a banjo!)
The song is called "Left Foot Dance of the Yi."

The Yi people, as I mentioned before, are one of the ethnic minorities of southwestern China. There's a family of songs called left foot dance songs ("Kind of Yi party music," their manager Sam Debell writes). This is the band's own arrangement of a very well-known left foot dance song. It's usually a circle dance, but the band adapted it, so they do it in a line (in a circle it must look positively Balkan... but I'm not going to get into that, at least not here).

A sample of the lyrics (xianzi is a stringed instrument) --

-Brother play the xianzi.
-Sister sing the song.
-The moon is already risen.
-And we're waiting to dance.

And something from our own repertoire:

"Late in the evening about sundown
High on a hill and above the town
Uncle Pen played the fiddle, lordy how it would ring,
You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing. - Huffington Post


A few months back Beijing-based alternative folk ensemble Shanren captured our attention with their video "Drinking Song" - which is about as close to The Pogues as we've ever seen a Chinese band get. Now they're coming to the U.S. for a whirlwind east coast tour.

But don't take our word for it - here's what the band's tour announcement said (complete tour dates below):

All over China, millions are engaging in what's been called the largest migration in human history, moving out of poor villages in the countryside in search of work in booming cities along the coast. While journalists and sociologist have endlessly described the phenomenon, no one captures the longing for home that accompanies such a move better than Shanren, a Beijing-based indie-folk band with members representing the Buyi and Wa ethnic minorities.

The musicians were themselves lured from their rural hometowns in Yunnan and Guizhou by the promise of a wider world that would open up to them in Beijing. Since forming in the Chinese capital a decade ago, they've performed throughout China as well as appearing at Barcelona Festival Asia, MIDEM, and Liverpool Sound City.

Based on the traditional music of southwestern China's Yi people, Shanren wrote "30 Years" to evoke the difficulty of finding love and work in the big city. "30 Years" was the official song of the 2010 Barcelona Festival Asia, and Pi San Animations Ltd. created the video, which was awarded Best Cyber Animation at the Xiamen International Animation Festival. - National Geographic


A highlight of the Jue Festival itinerary -- and a highlight for local music in general as it’s the opening night for Mao Livehouse’s new location -- is Beijing-based Yunnanese folk rock band Shanren, returning to Shanghai, with a fist-full of fresh, sunny, high energy folk rock tunes. Although the ethnic sounds of Yunnan are at the core of their music, their membership stretches out to Kunming and Guizhou, covers three ethnic minority groups, and incorporates a polyglot of world music and modern rock influences -- Afro and Caribbean sounds, rock proper, reggae, even some death metal, 'cause why not.

Their ten year journey as a band has seen them tour Korea, represent China at two major festivals in Europe, and undertake multiple national tours. Their show this Friday at Mao is a great way to experience the band in large-scale, outsized format, and a great opportunity to enjoy an act that represents the diversity of this country’s folk scene and it’s seemingly incongruous musical influences -- influences that are assumed, assimilated and re-transmitted as awesome.

A note about this interview: these questions were dished out to Shanren’s English-speaking guest percussionist Sam Debell, who asked the rest of the band their thoughts over dinner, summarized them, and sent them back. So it’s five guys answering with one voice. Which seems metaphorically apt.

Click here for their Douban page. Click play on those tracks and let that be your soundtrack for the day. Matches the weather like Pink Floyd to Wizard of Oz.

Click here for the event details. Shanren is this Friday at Mao Livehouse. Starts 8pm. 60rmb at the door.

SmSh: Could you introduce your band and describe your music? Where are you all from and how do your ethnic background(s) play into your music?

Shanren: Hello everybody. We are Shanren band hailing from Yunnan Province! Our sound combines lots of different styles but with through-running Yunnan Folk elements, which is why we are usually described as folk or folk-rock. We are all from Yunnan/Guizhou but from different ethnic groups -- Han, Buyi and Wa. Each member brings different influences to the music which helps us hold together a wider Yunnan identity.

SmSh: What are you earliest experiences with music and what were the first instruments you picked up? Do you come from musical families or communities?

Shanren: We were all more or less surrounded by music since childhood, if not from our parents then from the wider rural society where we spent our early years. Mountain songs were the main form of entertainment back then so they were certainly our formative musical experiences.

Despite this it was the guitar that inspired most of us to become musicians (with the exception of Xiao Ou, the drummer). We were all seduced by the sounds of rock music in the nineties…

SmSh: Are you enjoying living in Beijing? Did you move to that city to play music specifically?

Shanren: The move to Beijing was a move that any committed Chinese musician has to make if they are serious about getting somewhere in the Chinese music scene. It’s obviously hard to get on at first if you’re used to the Yunnan climate and lifestyle but now we’re acclimatized we can enjoy the positive sides of being here!

SmSh: What’s the music in Beijing like? Do you see Shanren as fitting in with the larger music community in Beijing or do you see the band as a separate thing to the music that goes in that city?

Shanren: Everything in Beijing is interlinked. It’s impossible not be influenced by the music around you. However, although Shanren fit into a very real, although fledgling folk revival scene in Beijing, we are still kind of on our own as a Yunnan Folk band.

We are part of the wider rock scene for sure but the closer we move towards folk the weaker that link becomes.

SmSh: There’s a rich, national folk music community in China. Who are some of your contemporaries that influence your music? Do you listen more to genres of music or individual bands/artists?

Shanren: I’d say both. Ye Haizi (Wild Children) were a big influence for us at first. Hanggai and Mamer are big role models in different ways. Basically anyone who is combining traditional music with modern in an inventive way is of huge interest. Aside from that we love reggae, rock and all kinds of ethnic music from around the world.

SmSh: You’ve been a band for almost ten years. What are the biggest challenges to being in a band in China? What’s the key to sticking together as a band?

Shanren: The internal relationships within in the band are certainly the most important factor. Everyone in Shanren band are close friends. We hang around with each other all the time -- it’s certainly not a professional relationship like some bands who only ever meet at practice or gigs. We’ve also been luckier than most in signing to two great record labels 13 Month and CMIP who have given us huge support.
Most of the ten years have been tough, - Smartshanghai.com


We may be a few months off the mark, but have just come across an interesting article in the New York Times written by Jonathan Kaiman and Andrew Jacobs titled 'Ethnic Music Tests Limits in China'.

They discuss how 'a growing roster of alternative performance sites and music festivals has allowed Chinese ethnic minority musicians...to enjoy an unusual degree of financial security and cultural prominence' in a country where the central state and majority Han population has tended to marginalise smaller ethnic communities, which make up around eight percent of China's population (that's one hundred million people!).

The state-sponsored representation of minority groups mainly consists of “song and dance troupes” that regularly appear on television. Kaiman and Jacobs note how 'these shows portray minorities as exotic and unthreatening — with bright clothes and wide smiles and who are fanatical about singing and dancing. Many disparate minority groups often perform on stage together to symbolize ethnic harmony'.

Counteracting this heavily censored image are bands such as Shanren ("mountain people"), known for their 'eclectic style — songs move fluidly from electronica to reggae to metal — and arrangements inspired by traditional music from the country’s ethnically diverse southwest, a mélange of loose falsetto harmonies and twangy pentatonic lutes'. Qu Zihan, Shanren's frontman, comments “even though we have rebellious things in our music, they’re really not so obvious...we just want to approach things from a different angle, to make people think.”

Alongside this, Shanren found the time to enter the World Music Network's Battle Of The Bands competition. Click here for a taster of Shanren's music, and if you like what you hear, don't forget to vote! - The World Music Network


During a recent music festival the band organized in the suburbs of Beijing, Hanggai stacked the roster with musicians who, like the band’s members, are known for combining traditional ethnic music with contemporary genres. There were performances by Mamer, an experimental musician from the Kazakh border region of China who plays a long-necked lute, and Zhang Quan, a peripatetic folk singer from the arid northwestern plains.

The event, undiminished by the erratic sound quality and overpriced food, attracted a swarm of state security officers who monitored the crowd with suspicion, impatience and a hint of curiosity.

A growing roster of alternative performance sites and music festivals has allowed Chinese ethnic minority musicians like the members of Hanggai to enjoy an unusual degree of financial security and cultural prominence.

BEIJING — They have toured Europe, played alongside marquee names like the band Coldplay and earned plaudits in the international press. But here in China, the growing popularity of the Mongolian rock band Hanggai has not exactly inspired adulation from the authorities.

But in China, where the central government maintains a firm grip on popular media and cultural events, minority musicians walk a fine line: play it safe and they may lose their audience; go too far and they may lose their stage. About 8 percent of China’s population, or more than 100 million people, belong to 55 state-designated ethnic minority groups. Centuries of isolation and autonomy have made many of them linguistically and culturally distinct from the majority Han.

But over the past 30 years, a variety of social, economic and political forces have pushed them toward assimilation into mainstream Chinese culture. The lure of well-paid work in the cities draws young people away from traditional village life. Television and popular music have eclipsed traditional forms of entertainment.

Moreover, many groups feel marginalized by Beijing’s policies that regulate minorities. Economic incentives that have lured millions of Han Chinese to the country’s western, southern and northern fringes have created socioeconomic rifts along ethnic lines.

“There’s a widespread belief among minorities that Han have an unfair advantage in terms of getting better employment and opportunities in minority areas,” said Dru Gladney, an expert on Chinese minorities at Pomona College in California. Such resentments, he added, were an underlying factor in recent uprisings in Tibet and the western region of Xinjiang, where rioting by ethnic Uighurs claimed hundreds of lives, most of them Han Chinese.

In its official media, the Communist Party seeks to paint a very different picture.

At the forefront of state-sponsored minority representation are the “song and dance troupes” that appear regularly on television. These shows portray minorities as exotic and unthreatening — with bright clothes and wide smiles and who are fanatical about singing and dancing. Many disparate minority groups often perform on stage together to symbolize ethnic harmony. Songs are often performed in Mandarin.

The lyrics are frequently apolitical paeans to the rugged allure of China’s borderlands. In 2009, the Mongolian singer Wulan Tuoya had a major hit with the crisp, karaoke-friendly “I Want to Go to Tibet.” The song’s music video looks like a public relations campaign for Tibetan tourism, juxtaposing government-financed group dances with video clips of the Beijing-Lhasa express train.

The status quo poses a challenge to those who wish to perform traditional songs as they are, with lyrics often describing less salubrious aspects of minority life.

“About 80 percent of my songs are about hardship,” said Aojie a Ge, a Beijing-based musician from the Yi minority of southwest China. “But can I perform these songs? Of course not. I still need to survive.”

Mr. Aojie rose to national fame in the late 1990s with the pop trio Mountain Eagle. Although he grew up in the Liangshan Prefecture of Sichuan Province, one of the country’s poorest regions, he has largely assimilated to city life. He wears shoulder-length dreadlocks and designer jeans. His celebrity has earned him a prestigious job directing programs for a performance group affiliated with the All China Federation of Trade Unions, a government institution.

Many such programs are political in nature: Mr. Aojie recently returned from a week in Yunnan Province, where he helped local entrepreneurs develop a program promoting patriotic songs. While Mr. Aojie enjoys the stability and prestige associated with his position, he is aware of the artistic limits imposed by the authorities. The government, for example, ultimately decides where he can perform, as well as the language of his songs. “Of course, I have objections,” Mr. Aojie said. “In other countries, you can raise them. Here, you can’t.” But some minority musicians have succeeded in carving out an alternate path.

Take, for e - The New York Times


Discography

Shanren (Album) 2008, 13 Month Record Company, Producer Qu Zihan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJYdMKlzj48
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3laLgBXweJM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcg4SfSPYBs

Photos

Bio

Formed in 2000 in the remote and mysterious Yunnan province of southwest China, the region thought to have inspired the Shangri-la of James Hiltons classic novel Lost Horizon, Shanren, literally mountain men, have become one of Chinas top indie folk bands. With members representing some of the least understood of Chinas 56 ethnic groups, the four-piece aims to promote and preserve the colorful and diverse heritage of Yunnan and Guizhous many ethnic minority tribes through original compositions and re-workings of local folk melodies.

Described by the Guardian in 2014 as A triumph from beginning to end and National Geographic as The closest thing to The Pogues that we have ever heard a Chinese band come, Shanrens live show fuses indigenous music with modern styles, while showcasing a variety of rare traditional instruments such as the Xianzi, Qinqin and Dabiya (four-stringed plucked instruments) and Xianggu and Sun drum (percussion) resulting in an upbeat and intense sound that is natural but completely original.

Shanrens flare on stage and fresh sound have lead to shows all over the World and increasing international recognition.  Their 2013 album (China), Left Foot Dance of the Yi (international)  was nominated for best Rock album at the 2013 MIDI music awards and since release on January 27th by the World Music Network has received rave reviews.  Shanren are staple headliners at Chinas major music festivals and have been featured on a wide range of domestic TV shows reaching an audience in the tens of millions. Wild, eccentric, and charismatic, Shanren are true ambassadors for Chinas ethnic diversity and emerging musical creativity.


International Festivals:

2010 Merce Festival (Barcelona, Spain)

2011- Midem (Cannes, France)

2011- Liverpool Sound City (Liverpool, UK)

2012- Canadian Music Week (Toronto, Canada)

2012 Balispirit Festival (Bali, Indonesia)

2013 Turtle Island Festival (Japan)

2014- Puguche Andes Festival (Ecuador)

 2014 WOMADelaide (Adelaide, Australia)

2014 WOMAD NZ (New Plymouth, New Zealand)

2014 Lanna World Musiq Festival (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

2014 Under The Bridge Festival (Tokyo, Japan)


Band Members