North American Guqin Association

NAGA Japanese Garden Yalon With Dai Wei

Saturday, August 17th, 2013, Hayward, CA


Dear Qin Friends:

Summer is here! The North American Guqin Association (NAGA) is pleased to announce that on Saturday, August 17that 1:00pm, it will hold a yalon in the Japanese Garden in Hayward, CA.

A yalon 雅龙© (yaji+salon) is a mixed gathering of East and West, ancient and modern. It was conceived and created by NAGA’s director Wang Fei in October, 2010 and recently was introduced by the New York Times. Please click here to learn more about yalon.

Japanese Garden

According to ancient Chinese scholars, the guqin is not just a musical instrument but a lifestyle.  It allows us to play music, meet old and new friends, enjoy flowers and goldfish, recite poems, sing opera, take photographs, discuss a variety of topics as well as share your recent worldwide travel experiences and photos using modern and new technology such as Ipad and Iphone in a peaceful and beautiful Asian garden. Please see the past events we have held in this Japanese garden at


NAGA director Wang Fei will share her recent projects, and will talk about how to bring the guqin, an ancient and traditional genre of music, onto the world musical stage and into modern life. She will also give an update on the current status of the qin and its market, and share a lot of amazing stories and photos.

NAGA collaborators and programs:

1.      Professor Dai Wei, from the Shanghai Conservatory of music, is currently a visiting scholar at UCLA. She is a renowned guqin player, and the daughter of xiao master Dai Shuhong. She studied guqin under master Gong Yi. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear guqin players from different schools play guqin masterpieces in different styles without any sound equipment, in a traditional way.
Please see this video of Professor Dai’s performance, OԆ (/ޱ, /) Dialogue of the Woodcutter and Fisherman

2.      In recent years, Wang Fei has been dedicated to creating new guqin works and collaborating with musicians from different countries and musical traditions, and trying to create a create a new language or dialog between each tradition and each musical instrument in addition to her traditional guqin repertory.  

-          Prasant Radhakrishnan, a versatile Indian saxophonist, was one of Wang Fei’s collaborators. They gave the world premiere of their new project “Bodhidharma Ensemble” on May 4th at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival in the Oakland Asian Culture Center. What happened when Chinese musical tradition met Indian musical tradition? How did it sound when the guqin met saxophone and percussion? Please see two sample videos from their concert:


A. Improvisation:

B. Rearranged traditional piece Jiukuang <酒狂>




NAGA recently established a new office in Beijing which will be devoted to international guqin cultural exchange and will introduce a guqin-themed hotel, restaurants, concert hall, theater, exhibitions, recording studio, qin making studio, qin classrooms with bilingual instruction, etc. Our 2013 international NAGA class + cultural tour will take place from October 18-25 in Beijing, Yangzhou and Xian. If you are interested in experiencing such a special combination of classes and tours with a guqin theme, please come and discuss it with us.

Our NAGA intensive guqin class will start very soon. If there are any new qin friends who want to know more about the guqin or about the lessons, or who would like to meet qin friends or a teacher, you are most welcome to join us. Please see details of the classes at

Entry to the yalon is free and anybody with an interest in guqin is welcome. Bring your friends along too! Players of other instruments are especially welcome. We can do some experimentation and enjoy the summer together.

Since space is limited, please reserve your place at

Time and date

Saturday, August 17th at 1:00pm, 2013


Japanese Garden, 22325 N 3rd St  Hayward, CA 94546

Please click here for directions

About Yalon

Based on the traditional Chinese scholar’s yaji (雅集 elegant gathering) and the French artistic gatherings known as salons (沙龙), a yalon (雅龙)© is a novel and artistic high society gathering, centering on the guqin, attended by contemporary literati in homage to the ancient Chinese yaji of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove and hosted by intellectual women in their living rooms, as was done by George Sand in her French salons and Lin Huiyin (林徽因) in her literary salons.
NAGA’s ground-breaking yalons (雅龙)© were successfully premiered in October 2010 in a Beijing courtyard house where renowned Chinese opera master Mei Lanfang (梅兰芳) used to reside. NAGA has held many yalons in both China and the US. Attendees have included musicians, scholars, writers, filmmakers, poets, doctors, public officials, publishers, investors, diplomats and young urban professionals from both the US and China. Among them were guqin master Li Xiangting and guzheng master Yin Qiyin. Attendees enjoyed and appreciated music from famous guqin pieces to improvisations, poetry recitals and improvisational writing with guqin improvisation, while tasting fine wines and aged Puer black tea, wore hanfu, played impromptu childhood games and discussed various artistic topics as well as modern marvels such as the iPad and iPhone.

The purpose of yalons is to provide an inspirational platform for artists to collaborate across cultures and across art forms; to encourage artists to create new works; to introduce a new lifestyle in which a person can be not just materially wealthy but also spiritually rich. We hope today’s NAGA yalons starting in China will be a spark that can light a prairie fire to revive Chinese high culture, now that its economy has become so successful.


About NAGA

The North American Guqin Association (NAGA) is a nonprofit cultural arts organization dedicated to the public presentation and preservation of the art of the guqin, spreading community appreciation of Chinese culture through the traditional art of the guqin and building a bridge for cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the Chinese and American communities. NAGA offers guqin classes, performances, recordings, workshops etc.

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