I don't know about you but I can confidently say: THIS. IS. SO. COOL. Hsu-Nami is a New Jersey based rock band, that features an er-hu. An er-hu is an ancient Chinese instrument that is comparable to a violin but only has 2 strings. As a side note, I'd like to also point out that the er-hu is usually used in the soundtracks of soap opera series (!) that are set in ancient China. And I grew up watching these type of series! It's a pretty melodramatic instrument. So this is quite a rumble for the senses to see an er-hu as the lead in a rock band! I guess we can define this as "fusion."
When their name popped up on my radar, I knew I've seen them before. How many other er-hu rock bands are out there anyway. It took some digging but I found my old pictures from a dragonboat race. Voila! A picture of Hsu-Nami! I remember that I was walking away from the stage towards the food concession stands (hey, a girl has got to eat) when all of a sudden I hear an er yu with rock...
Hsu-Nami consist of band members, Jeff Hsu (er-hu), Brent Bergholm (lead guitar), Tony Aichele (rhythm guitar), Derril Sellers (bass), John Manna (drums) and Dana Goldberg (keyboard). The group formed in 2005 during their college years. Their first album, Entering the Mandala, came out in 2007. The Four Noble Truths, their second and latest release came out in 2009. The title song, The Four Noble Truths, is 10 minutes long and absolutely reminisces Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
The band has been busy lately with performances in cities all over the country...actually, technically the North Eastern States. But hopefully that will change in the future! One of Hsu-Nami's major successes was having their song, "Rising of the Sun," represent the Chinese National Basketball Team during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Nicely done.
Hsu-Nami will be performing on March 13, 2011 at Arlene's Grocery. Hope you'll pop in if you're in the area!