Cultural Exchange Builds Bridges between IUPUI and SYSU

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Seven musicians and faculty members from the School of Engineering and Technology were a cultural hit in Guangzhou, China, during a series of concerts and cultural exchange events at Sun Yat-sen University.

The IUPUI representatives are part of the school’s Music and Arts Technology Department, and form two ensembles that performed during four concerts for 3,500 students and faculty at Sun Yat-sen campuses in Guangzhou and Zhuhai, both cities located in the Guangdong province in South China.

During the trip, the IUPUI guests enjoyed VIP status at the 90th anniversary concert for Sun Yat-sen University. The event featured student-faculty orchestra and choirs who performed compositions by past students of the university.

The troupe also met with Sun Yat-sen Vice President Xiping Zhu, and had meetings with their Chinese university counterparts throughout the week. The IUPUI group also experienced a visitor’s view of Guangzhou, checking out restaurants and tourist sites throughout the city.

During the trip, the IUPUI musicians presented a diverse collection of music including:

  • Traditional jazz, performed by noted Indiana-based jazz pianist Steve Allee.
  • Classical guitar solos from John Alvarado.
  • High-tech electro-acoustic music of Big Robot, the IUPUI group featuring Scott Deal, Michael Drews and Jordan Munson.

IUPUI’s Big Robot is a computer-acoustic trio that creates live media-enriched art and music that interweaves aesthetic expression with computer interactivity and networked technology. The group has presented concerts and residencies throughout the world since 2009.

The IUPUI entourage also featured musicians who perform with Allee, including Prof. Robin Cox on violin/electronics, Sandy Williams on bass guitar and Deal on drums.

Allee was nominated for a Grammy award for his big band CD “Downtown Blues” and has performed with a host of music, film and stage stars, including: Buddy Rich, Bob Hope, Joan Rivers, Red Skelton, Slide Hampton, James Moody and Benny Golson. He also has opened for Grammy winning singer Tony Bennett.