The Wu-Force: globalFEST 2014
If you've encountered banjo phenomenon Abigail Washburn before, you might know that she's loved China for a long time. In fact, it was her plan to study law at Beijing University that led her to her chosen instrument a little more than a decade ago: She'd wanted to bring "something American" with her to China and started to learn old-time music — and found her destiny.
She never gave up her love of Chinese music and culture; at the Tiny Desk Concert she recorded for NPR Music back in 2011, she and her band performed a song she'd learned in Sichuan Province. In a newly formed trio called The Wu Force with multi-instrumentalist Kai Welch and guzheng (plucked zither) artist Wu Fei — a group self-described as a "Kungfu-Appalachian-Indie-Folk-Rock trio" — the three create new music inspired by everything from Peking opera to American punk. Their sound and staging are a little loopy, but The Wu-Force's interplay of fearless instrumentation, delicate playing and intriguing storytelling makes for a memorable set.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.