Jazz venue head and shoulders above others
By Vikki Roylance
Above: The jazz band in CJW
Below: Craig Holiday Haynes plays drums.
Shanghai Star photos/Gao Erqiang
IF your heart leaps to
a jazz beat, Shanghai has a surprising collection of offerings for
you, ranging from international names to more humble (but still
eager) local contributions. The most luxurious choice, and arguably
the best jazz club in China, is CJW.
CJW (CigarJazzWine) has two locations, one in Xintiandi and the
other in the Bund Centre. Also home to the Westin hotel, the centre
is easily distinguished along the Shanghai Skyline for its roof,
which resembles a flower or a crown. If you have time for only one
night at CJW you should choose the Bund Centre. Situated on the
50th floor, it offers spectacular 360 degree panoramic views of
the Bund, Lujiazui and surrounding areas.
The decor resembles something from a Turkish palace with silk-swathed
crystal chandeliers and velvet seats. If you are part of a bigger
group, it is worth booking your own area around the edge of the
venue, with silk curtains for privacy and sofas to lounge on. Cost
is a minimum spend of 800 yuan (US$99). This sounds a lot but with
cocktails at 80 yuan (US$10), it really is an easy target to hit.
The music is genuine jazz and musicians are "imported"
from overseas. Just recently, CJW played host to the luscious Arlee
McLeonard and now has Craig Haynes, son of famed jazz legend Roy
Haynes, within its band.
Craig Holiday Haynes (named after Billie Holiday) was born in New
York into an already established musical family. The younger Haynes
inherited his father's love for jazz beats. He began playing guitar,
accordion and piano as a child before moving to the French horn
in elementary school. At the age of 15 he began his professional
career playing tenor saxophone before moving to the drums at the
age of 20. It is this instrument that has led him all across the
world playing with greats such as George Benson, Marcus Miller,
Jimmy Heath, Tony Bennett and Gloria Lynne, amongst others.
Carol Chang, CJW's keyboardist and band leader, spotted Craig on
a DVD from a concert a few years back and invited him to play at
CJW. When Haynes told his father, (who still travels the world playing
music) that he was coming to China, Roy said: "China? Nobody
goes to China!" But a few weeks after arriving Haynes discovered
that his father, having never set foot on Chinese soil, had made
it to China himself. In the House of Blues and Jazz, a bar on Maoming
Road, he found his dad's picture on the wall, with all the greats.
"My father's picture in on the wall, right here in Shanghai,"
he told the Shanghai Star over cocktails. "And it made me feel
as though I am here to help China to come to know and love jazz
music, like much of the rest of the world."
Haynes has received much praise and many great reviews from all
over the world and the trend continues in Shanghai.
CJW combines outstanding talent, a warm atmosphere and a sense of
luxury. This is the place to go to enjoy authentic jazz.
Make sure you book at the weekends as it tends to fill up fast.
Though there are no strict guidelines on dress, Friday and Saturday
night are made for dressing up.
50F, 222 East Yan'an Road
Tel: 6339-1777, 6339-2777
House 2, Lane 123, Xinye Road
Tel: 6385-6677, 6385-2277