“It is always a personal thrill to find a ‘fresh voice’ within the jazz continuum. A Bu is a highly creative and accomplished jazz pianist who is also a gifted composer. I regard him as a promising young jazz lion who has a brilliant career ahead of him and will surely be talked about for many years to come” – Michel Camilo
Being the first and only Chinese pianist who has taken top prizes (First Prize & Audience Choice) in the history of the prestigious Montreux Jazz Piano Competition, A Bu has made international recognition as the representative of Chinese jazz scene and modern pianism.
Born in Beijing in 1999, A Bu began studying classical piano at the age of 4. In the year of 2009, he was admitted to China’s most music institution, the Central Conservatory, where he continued his classical piano studies with Professor Zhiwei Zhang. Soon later, he began to approach jazz and improvisation.
In 2011, after taking some jazz lessons with Chinese jazz pianist Hongwei Kong (AKA Golden Buddha), A Bu started to play in jam sessions in places such as CD Blues Café, East Shore Café, Jianghu Bar in Beijing with local musicians. He also formed his first jazz trio with two Chinese musicians, Ma Kai & Shao Haha and received their debut performance at the 2012 Nine Gates Jazz Festival in Beijing. After the concert, Marc Vincent, the former president of Sennheiser Greater China, suggested to produce a studio album for the trio.
Early 2013, A Bu and his trio went into studio in Beijing with Grammy-Award winner recording engineer Jakob Handel. Spending 4 days in the studio, A Bu completed his first album titled “88 Tones of Black and White”, which included the trio’s takes on jazz standards and A Bu’s arrangement of one of J.S. Bach’s three-part invention. The album was mixed and mastered by the team of Stockfisch Records in Germany and later released by Sennheiser Media in July 2014.
In June 2013, A Bu was invited by the American jazz icon Chick Corea to play an impromptu-duet together during the master’s solo concert in Shanghai.
In 2014, A Bu was admitted to The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, there he continued classical piano studies simultaneously with Korean pianist Choong-Mo Kang and American professor Ernest Barretta. He also took private lessons with Frank Kimbrough, an American jazz educator and a faculty member of the school’s jazz division.