The dizi, or Chinese bamboo flute, is one of the lead melodic instruments of the regional music of Shanghai known as Jiang Nan Si Zhu, or Jiang Nan Silk Bamboo Music. Jiang Nan Si Zhu music is played by small ensembles of silk stringed instruments and bamboo wind instruments, hence the name “Silk Bamboo Music.” This folk musical style dates back around 400 years and can still be heard in teahouses, private homes, and community recreation centers in the Shanghai region. Jiang Nan Si Zhu has eight main repertoire pieces but includes a tradition of jia hua, or added flowers, which are complex improvisational ornamentations.
Lu Xian is one of the only dizi players in the United States who has expertise in Jian Nan Si Zhu music. He studied with Chunling Lu, the most esteemed dizi musician of the Jiang Nan Si Zhu style in China.
In 2005, Lu was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program with apprentice Joanna Leong. The apprenticeship focused on Joanna’s learning improvisational techniques and four of the repertoire pieces of Jiang Nan Si Zhu regional folk music.