Formed in 2010, Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band aims to infuse their Taiwanese roots to the practices of jazz and Afro-Cuban music style, leading audiences to experience the unpredictability of jazz improvisation through Afro-Cuban rhythms. Their debut album ‘In Our Blood’ was released in June 2018. It won the “Best Jazz Single of the Year” with Vincent Hsu’s composition “Dreamer's Blues” at the 2018 Golden Indie Music Awards, and was also honored with the Global Music Awards' Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2019.
Born and bred in Taiwan, award-winning bassist and founder/bandleader Vincent Tsung-Yu Hsu launched his musical career in New York City and was mentored by legendary musicians, including Victor Venegas, Andy González, Cecil McBee, and John A. Schaeffer. Hsu has been touring worldwide, including Madrid International Jazz Festival, Busan Jazz Festival, Taichung Jazz Festival, National Theater & Concert Hall Summer Jazz Festival, and Macau Jazz Festival, among others. Taking the combination of Latin music and jazz as a form of bilingualism, Hsu is an inheritor of the musical lineage that originates in New York’s Spanish Harlem. Three distinct cultures intersect and interweave to shape the sonic character of his band: the singular power of African polyrhythms come together with the fusion of Latin and jazz improvisation in a profusion of Taiwanese compositional elements that give rise to vivid storytelling. Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band have taken the dual vernaculars of Afro-Cuban music and jazz, and left their own musical mark through the creation of an original work that embraces the context of Taiwan’s own soundscape.
“Hola Pops!—The Latin Side of Louis Armstrong” is a project initiated by Vincent Hsu and inspired by the music legacy of Louis Armstrong. The concept of this project is to revisit Louis Armstrong’s musical journey through Hsu’s Afro-Cuban arrangements and originals dedicated to Armstrong, as well as to reflect Armstrong’s impact and unfold musical stories intertwined with Hsu’s Taiwanese cultural background.
This project is a special collaboration between New Orleans Jazz Museum, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York. It aims to form a musical collaboration between musicians in Taiwan and U.S., in hopes of expanding the understanding and aesthetics of both cultures and creating a new musical possibility. “Hola Pops!—The Latin Side of Louis Armstrong” will be touring in New Orleans, Chicago, and New York, tracing Louis Armstrong’s musical footsteps back then. In New Orleans, Vincent Hsu & Soy La Ley Afro-Cuban Jazz Band will share stage with the featuring master musician Bill Summers, along with the outstanding pianist Joe Ashlar and drummer Jamal Batiste.
This event is free and open to the public, sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz Museum.