A bit of backstory: vocalist Coco Zhao was, is, and forever will be associated with the jazz music in this city for his own unique and idiosyncratic style and technique, sourced from two opera singer parents and a professionally trained background, and developed performing in the clubs in this city in the '90s. By the late '90s and mid '00s he was invited to perform in Europe and beyond as the key representation of the unique character of new jazz music coming out of Shanghai and China -- a mash-up of far-reaching traditional Chinese influences, a close schooling in Western jazz standards, and a confident, disarming sort of passion that comes from knowing that one is at the vanguard of something that hadn't quite been done before.
Enter "Cocolicious", which is Zhao's drag performance jazz persona, which directly references Shanghai's lecherous and extravagant '20s jazz heritage and a injects a little good, clean gender assailing fun to the mix. Thumbs up.
Quote a CNN profile from a while back: "Singing, being Coco, is my major life. When I do Coco, I don’t do much performing, I just sing. But Cocolicious is a total show."
A piece of Shanghai jazz past, present, and future up on the stage at Heyday on Saturday night. Tickets are 80rmb. Don't miss!