Chien Chien Lu
Chien Chien Lu

Chien Chien Lu

About Chien Chien Lu

Chien Chien Lu is a U.S.-based vibraphonist, marimbist, contemporary percussionist, and composer from Taiwan. Classically trained and a former member of the internationally renowned Ju Percussion Group, she possesses an inherent sense of lyricism no matter the musical environment, whether it be swinging post-bop, avant-garde improv, or modern classical music. Since 2018, Lu has been a member of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt's recording and touring bands and appeared on the acclaimed outings Jeremy Pelt: The Artist and Griot: This Is Important! Lu formed her own band in late 2019, and she issued her debut leader album, The Path, in September 2020.
Lu was born in Taiwan in 1979. She began taking piano lessons at age six, and has claimed it her first real exposure to music. At ten, she developed a lifelong passion for percussion and began to focus all of her attention on vibes and marimba. She spent nearly two decades playing classical, Taiwanese traditional music, Chinese pop, and K-pop. In 2008, she joined the world-renowned Ju Percussion Group and performed across Asia. Lu collaborated with composer Ching-Mei Lin and performed her marimba concerto for six-mallet marimba entitled "Pulsing Wave." In 2012, she played percussion accompaniment for the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's rendition of Legacy, and in 2013 performed a solo percussion concert at Taipei Novel Hall. In 2014, Lu was awarded as "Emerging Young Artist" for her work with her marimba duo. While still living in Taiwan, she had her first exposure to jazz after randomly tuning in to a jazz radio station. Amazed by the freedom she heard in this strange new music, Lu sought a jazz piano teacher while working on her master's in classical music at Taipei National University of the Arts.
Lu graduated with a master's degree in 2015. She emigrated to the U.S. to study jazz in Philadelphia with vibraphonist Tony Miceli. Shortly after, she taught a few jazz workshops alongside Miceli in Taiwan. In 2016, she received a monthly residency at Chris' Jazz Café in Philadelphia. That September, Lu performed in a Roy Ayers tribute concert with Vertical Current at Silkcity. That same month, she performed with the Chris Stevens Quintet as part of Philadelphia's citywide John Coltrane Memorial Festival.
In 2017, Lu graduated with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts. That August, she attended the prestigious Banff Jazz Residency under the direction of pianist Vijay Iyer. It was at Banff that she met Pelt, who was also on the faculty. In October, she performed at The Stone in New York with Okkyung Lee. Lu was invited to join the Jeremy Pelt Quintet in 2018, and made her recorded debut on Jeremy Pelt the Artist; she received considerable critical attention for her vibes playing and solos. She toured with the Pelt group extensively across North America and Europe, and played on his 2019 album Griot: This Is Important!
Lu led her own quartet to perform at NTCH Summer Jazz festival, Sappho Jazz Live in Taiwan, and The DiMenna Center in N.Y.C. Lu issued The Path, her leader debut, in September 2020. Accompanying her on the set were an elite cast of musicians sourced principally from Pelt's ensemble; he also played trumpet on the date. Its 12 tracks included a spirited reading of Ayers' iconic hit "We Live in Brooklyn Baby." ~ Thom Jurek

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