Live performance at Binh Minh Jazz Club © Jeon Haein

All That Jazz in Hanoi
What’s the perfect way to enjoy a summer night in Hanoi? How about some live jazz performances?
It’s a gorgeous night out in town. The lake reflects the light, and streets are crowded with people seeking romantic summer night activities. The humid, tropical June nights in Hanoi are full of energy from those who brave the heat. And what could be better than to grab an ice cold glass of beer and to enjoy great music? Live jazz performances would be the ultimate. We are only so blessed to enjoy beautiful jazz.
여름밤 하노이 거리 © 전혜인

Streets of Hanoi on a summer night © Jeon Haein

Jazz is about being in the moment.
Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist
They say jazz is the one music genre with life. Defined by improvisation, jazz will change depending on its players and its audience, and where it’s being performed. People can play reading the same sheet and no two performances will ever be the same. Saxophonist Ornette Coleman once said, “Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night, but differently each time.” You could say jazz is the best music to enjoy being in the moment. Whatever performance you’re watching one particular night, you’ll know that it’s never been done before and it’ll never be replicated again. It’s for that one night only. And when you have that experience while on a trip to a foreign country, it’s even better. When you’re in a city for the first time, checking out jazz shows that project the colors of that city should be on your to-do list. Hanoi has no shortage of excellent jazz clubs. Urban Gentry by the West Lake has emerged as the go-to club among the young and foreigners. Cool Cat Jazz Club boasts stylish interior and quality service. Binh Minh Jazz Club is the face of jazz in Hanoi as its oldest jazz club. It continues to write its legacy.
빈민 재즈 클럽 © 전혜인

Binh Minh Jazz Club © Jeon Haein

Binh Minh Jazz Club, Heartbeat of Jazz in Hanoi
Every night at nine o’clock, beautiful music starts flowing out of the building standing at 1 Trang Tien. A show is on at Binh Minh Jazz Club, which stands on a small alley in Hanoi French Quarter. Patrons have a drink in their hand, as they take a ride into the world of jazz.
Piano tees it up for drums to jump in, and then the saxophone will blare and breathe more life into the tune. People will nod to the rhythm, as they wait for the band to take them to the crescendo. Some will have their eyes closed, while others will fix their admiring gaze on the saxophone player. A couple will whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. We all enjoy jazz differently.
빈민 재즈 클럽의 라이브 공연 © 전혜인

Patrons enjoying a live show at Binh Minh Jazz Club © Jeon Haein

Binh Minh Jazz Club is run by Quyen Van Minh, the father of Vietnamese jazz. He looks the part of an artist, with his silver, permed hair done in a ponytail. The renowned saxophonist has been helping expand the jazz culture in Vietnam since the early 1990s. He is teaching jazz theories at the National Conservatory of Hanoi, in addition to running his live club. Quyen is an ambitious one. He wants to keep developing a young generation of players who could help elevate Vietnamese jazz to a higher level, and also to create a platform to interact with the public and play quality jazz for people of Hanoi. 
꾸옌 반 민 © 빈민 재즈 클럽

꾸옌 반 민 © 빈민 재즈 클럽

Quyen Van Minh © Binh Minh Jazz Club

You don’t even necessarily have to like jazz music to visit Binh Minh Jazz Club. As music genres go, jazz tends to bring out the true colors of the musicians playing it. If you go to a show at this club, you’ll naturally develop a better understanding of the Vietnamese people and their culture. There are no admissions but you must order a drink.
빈민 재즈 클럽에서 공연 중인 꾸옌 반 민 © 빈민 재즈 클럽

Quyen Van Minh performing at Binh Minh Jazz Club © Binh Minh Jazz Club

꾸옌 반 민과 허비 행콕 © 빈민 재즈 클럽

Quyen Van Minh and Herbie Hancock © Binh Minh Jazz Club

If you’re so lucky, you may even get to hear Quyen himself perform. And his saxophone playing is so mesmerizing as to be out of this world. His performance is at once soft and powerful, with such incredible warmth and depth. Sometimes, Quyen plays traditional Vietnamese music in jazz style. Even foreigners who have no prior knowledge of the original song would be so touched by Quyen’s performance that some may even have tears in their eyes when it’s all said and done. Quyen doesn’t need lyrics to convey his emotions. It’s precious moments like these when you realize why they say music is a universal language and why jazz is a conversation between the performer and the audience.
빈민 재즈 클럽 © 전혜인

Binh Minh Jazz Club © Jeon Haein

Binh Minh Jazz Club 
1 Trang Tien, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Phone +84-24-3933-6555
Hours 17:00~24:00 (Live performance begins at 21:00)
롯데호텔 하노이

롯데호텔 하노이

롯데호텔 하노이

Where to Stay in Hanoi: LOTTE HOTEL HANOI
LOTTE HOTEL HANOI, a new landmark in Hanoi, is located in the upper floors of LOTTE CENTER HANOI. The hotel offers a view of the entire city, and the rooms are inspired by the traditional Vietnamese patterns. It has 318 rooms. The restaurant serves a wide variety of dishes using local Vietnamese specialties and fresh ingredients from around the world. Its rooftop bar lets you enjoy the beautiful skyline of Hanoi.
Address 54, Lieu Giai St. Cong Vi Ward. Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Inquiry +84-24-3333-1000
June 2020 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Writer:Jeon Haein

Where to stay?

  • June 2020
  • Editor: Kim Hyewon
    Writer: Jeon Haein
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