Sunday, May 2, 2010

Award for Song for Shanghai EXPO

Posted by Linda Meccouri

Listen to the Anthem Here.

In April of 2008, jazz musicians, Phil Morrison and Keith Williams were notified that their song "Beijing Olympics 2008 - Hao Yuin" was selected by the Beijing Olympics Committee as an official song for the Beijing Olympics 2008.

Along with world famous producer/songwriter David Foster, Phil Morrison and Keith Williams were among only a handful of foreign writers to have their song selected ...and within that group, Phil and Keith were the only native born Americans (David Foster was born in Canada).

Two years later, in April, 2010, Keith and Phil received official notification that another one of their songs entitled "Shanghai Expo - 2010" was selected to be an anthem for that event. It is noteworthy that these two jazz musicians, along with music industry giant Quincy Jones, were the only Americans to be recipients of such distinguished awards from the world's most populous country hosting two major world events.

Phil Morrison, a Boston native, and Keith Williams, from the California Bay Area, have both been longtime Georgia residents and spent much of their professional career performing in China, Japan and Brazil. This wide geo- graphical spectrum gives them a broad framework to draw from when collaborating on their various musical projects. A further indication of their international background is the name they gave the group that they co-lead which is called "World Unity Jazz Ensemble" (WUJE-woojay). The group usually consists of musicians from different countries and cultures using their traditional instruments.

Although the Beijing Olympics may be more well known, the Shanghai World Expo 2010 may have more economic impact internationally and their latest award winning song may be useful to the many participating countries and their sponsors.....such as Coca Cola, General Motors and Siemens.

Phil and Keith were first told of the Shanghai Expo while performing with their friend and world renowned erhu player (Chinese violin), Ma Xiao Hui.....who, along with Yo-Yo Ma, was featured in the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". She knew the signifcance of this event and she was also aware that her friends had won an award for their Beijing Olympics song so she suggested that they submit a song to the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Although Phil Morrison and Keith Williams have performed at the Ritz Carlton Hotels in Shanghai & Osaka and the Wangfujing Hotel in Beijing, their music is frequently heard in concert at various colleges both in the USA and China. Their CDs "China Skies" & "Hollow Reed" feature Chinese and Japanese instruments within a Jazz context which underscores the fact that their talent reaches far beyond that of "song-writer"......and far beyond national borders!!

Striving to be of Service to Humanity
... by Promoting International Harmony through Music