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Classical 101

Thời gian hè và sống là dễ dàng (Gershwin, by any other name)

Along with traditional Vietnamese melodies, Van-Anh Vanessa Vo plays music by George Gershwin and Jimi Hendrix.

Gershwin's Summertime has the feel of a lazy August afternoon.  It might feel a bit more relaxed when performed by Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ on the đàn bâù, a traditional Vietnamese instrument.

Tom Huizenga, writing for NPR.org, says, "The heat and humidity in the song feel even more conspicuous thanks to Võ's expressive đàn bâù. "  You can hear Võ's performance here.

Võ teams with California native Frank Martin, who offers a wonderful bridge between the two cultures to make the music work.

She gave a fascinating NPR Tiny Desk Concert last year, where she played several traditional Vietnamese instruments.  She starts with traditional music, then plays a transcription she made of music by Eric Satie.


If you'd like to hear the original Bess, (hand-picked by Gershwin himself), you can hear Ann Brown sing it here.  I'll leave you with this version of Summertime by Audra McDonald.  Enjoy!