At the age of five, Wu Fei began learning to play the guzheng, a traditional 21-string Chinese zither that is over five feet long. She went on to study composition at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at Mills College in Oakland, California. In America, she met Abigail Washburn, a banjo player who had become fascinated with China after first visiting in 1996. After many years of friendship and occasional collaboration, the two musicians formed a duo and are currently working on an album together.
The December 8 Sinica Podcast is an interview with the two of them, including performances of some as-yet-unreleased arrangements of traditional Chinese music fused with American folk music from the Appalachian region.
Below is a list of links to articles and videos about the duo.
- Wall Street Journal: Musicians meld traditions of two continents
- Her official website
- Video: Serendipity Improv
- ChinaFile: Wu Fei — An authentic voice
- Danwei: Wu Fei’s guzheng experiment
- “Akramachamarei” from John Zorn’s Xaphan: Book of Angels (Masada series), performed by Secret Chiefs 3 with Wu Fei on guzheng at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2009