Update 2011

November 21st, 2011

It’s been a while since my last post.    I just want to share a clip from TEDX Conference :

Next year will be exciting for me…  One trip I am making is to New York City. I will perform at Carnegie Hall in January. If you are around the area, come and see me perform!!! Please check out my “Event” page.

Tet 2011

February 19th, 2011

Happy New Year!!! This TET, I and Frances Martin performed for AuCo Cultural Center in San Francisco at Randall Museum. Here is the article in Vietnamese…

Xuân 3 miền ở San Francisco


February Update

February 19th, 2011

I’m back.

Okie.  Got a new video to share from last year gig at the Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco with Freddy Clarke and The Wobbly World.

Pagan Prayer

Also, the February 5th concert with Charles Loos and Ali Ryerson {with KhacQuan and Jimmy Nakagawa) went pretty well. Even though, it’s not as crowded as I would like but we played well and had fun together.

Here is the except from SF Examiner

East-West TrioLogy Live In San Carlos!

“…The concert featured a mixture of ensemble pieces, duets, and solos on the instruments and was a kaleidoscopic blend of tone colors, textures, exotic rhythms and melody. One instrument that is so exotic yet at the same time immediately accessible is the Dan Bau…”

January Update

January 29th, 2011

It was a busy busy past few months.   First,  I had my biggest concert in the US at Ohlone College past November.  Here is the review from San Francisco Examiner :

A “Breath of Asia” wafts through Fremont on a November breeze

“A concert called Lanterns of Light: Breath of Asia – Music of Vietnam breezed through Smith College in Fremont this weekend. It was a kaleidoscopic blend of tone colors, rhythms and sounds, a blending of eastern aesthetic and western sensibility…”

We played for a full house – probably just a few show that Ohlone College managed to sell-out.  The energy was great and I definitely want to extend my thanks to members of Breath of Asia and the community for supporting us.

January 15th,  I had a surprised concert at Fly Trap Studio (thanks Kallan Nishimoto) with NguyenLe — one of great Jazz guitarists.  He was doing a gig in New York and we had a great opportunity to bring him over to play with us and we took a bite and went for it.  Four of us (I, Jimmy Nakagawa, Aaron Germain, and NguyenLe) had only 3 days of practicing together before we performed.  I think everything went through smoothly enough even though it was the first time I ever had to play anything this fast.  We played two sessions and sold out both.  We are hoping to bring NguyenLe back.  Here is the article on the concert…

Nguyen Le and Van-Anh Vo Caught in an Oakland Flytrap!

“…The music ran through a variety of emotions and styles from the atmospheric and sublime to a jammin’ driven sound. On the sublime side of things Van-Anh Vo played a beautiful reflective composition inspired by the flowers of Vietnam around Hanoi. It employed a playing technique where the higher strings on the Dan Tranh were played up and down in rapid succession creating a waterfall like sound while strings in the lower register of the instrument were plucked individually. This created a rippling effect that was extraordinarily beautiful.Another highlight of the show was a tune from the Balkans in nineteen beats. This tune featured Nguyen Le doing some intricate riffing on the guitar and Van-Anh Vo delivering a presto non presto T’rung solo that was played with such blinding speed that when observing one could not see the mallets striking the bamboo, the fingers or hands but only a blur of motion accompanied by rapid successions of notes pouring in torrents from the T’rung. Awesome to hear and awe inspiring to behold!…”

Finally…  I am doing a concert this February 5th with Charles Loos (jazz piano),  Ali Ryerson (flute),  Khac-Quan (violin),  Jimmy Nakagawa (taiko).  The music will feature the infusion of jazz into Vietnamese traditional music and infusion of Vietnamese traditional musical instruments into jazz!!!  This concert party benefits San Carlos Adult Community Center…  Click for more info.

Thanks for your support and hope to see some of you there.

Happy New Year,

Van-Anh Vo

Van-Anh Vo – China Spirit Music Ensemble Concert on 23rd October

November 8th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all got the chance to see my performance with Winnie Wong and the wonderful China Spirit Music Ensemble. Johnathon Bakan from SF Examiner wrote up a nice article for our concert… Here is the full link:

The Spirit of China is felt during the CSME 2010 annual concert!

“… After intermission, Van-Anh Vanessa Vo took the stage. A beautiful, elegant presence, Ms.Vanessa Vo has mastered several Vietnamese instruments and her playing is as beautiful and elegant as her appearance. Ms. Vanessa Vo plays the Dan Tranh a Vietnamese instrument dating back to the thirteenth century… ”

I am very honored but know a lot of works ahead… Hopefully you all keep supporting me and the music.

Please do not miss the next concert !!! It will be on Nov 13th at Ohlone College here in Fremont, CA. Here is the link :

Van-AnhVo and Breath of Asia


Youtube : Phong Canh Que Em

October 6th, 2010

Bolinao 52 Soundtrack Recording- Dan Bau

March 22nd, 2010

Van-Anh Vo records a Dan Bau (Vietnamese monochord) tune for Bolinao 52, a documentary on Vietnamese Boat People.

Van-Anh performs Sakura, Sakura on dan Tranh

March 22nd, 2010

Van-Anh (Vanessa) Vo won First Place in the Dan Tranh (Vietnamese 16-string zither) National Competition in Vietnam in 1995. Her nationally acclaimed career has taken her and her beloved Vietnamese music to international festivals and performances throughout America, Europe, and Asia. Born into a musician family, Van-Anh demonstrated her musical talents precociously. She can play numerous Vietnamese string and percussion instruments as well as the keyboard, but the instrument she feels most attachment is the dan tranh.

About the dan tranh: A Vietnamese 16-string instrument, dan tranh emits clear, bright sound like that of water flowing. It probably originated from the same family of the Japanese koto, the Korean kayagum, and the Chinese zheng. The player wears finger-nail plectrums on three fingers to pluck and glide on the strings. Dan tranh is played solo or in ensemble, accompanying poem recitation or singing and taking part in different Vietnamese traditional orchestras.

Van-Anh Vo performs Dan Bau (Vietnamese monochord)

March 22nd, 2010

If one sound had to be chosen to evoke Vietnam, for many it would be the sound of the Dan Bau as it is one of only two traditional musical instruments of purely vietnamese origin. The word “bau” means gourd and refers to the dried gourd fastened to the handle, surrounding the string at the point where it connects to the handle. In the past this gourd may have served as a resonator, but today it survives as a decorative feature. Nowadays the Dan Bau is constructed using hardwood for a frame and softwood for the surface.

Van-Anh Vo performs dan T’rung (HD)

March 22nd, 2010

A performance by Van-Anh Vo, a Vietnamese dan Tranh National Champion, with various traditional Vietnamese instruments, including dan Tranh (sixteen-stringed zither), dan Bau (monochord), and dan Trung at Flytrap studio in Oakland, CA.