Kenny G asks to have bun cha during Vietnam stay

By Ha Thu   November 10, 2023 | 03:00 am PT
American saxophonist Kenny G has sent a 60-page list of requirements for his visit to Vietnam for an upcoming performance, including a special request to have bun cha (rice noodles with grilled pork).
American saxophonist Kenny G. Photo from Kenny G Facebook

American saxophonist Kenny G. Photo from Kenny G Facebook

The artist is set to perform at the "Good Morning Vietnam" concert at the National Convention Center in Hanoi on Nov. 14.

He will hold a talk with the press ahead of the show, on Nov. 13.

Nguyen Thuy Duong, a representative of the event organizers, said the artist’s team sent a 60-page list of requirements that should be guaranteed for the artist’s stay in Vietnam. These include standards about his accommodations, schedules, and show’s setup.

"He [Kenny G] tried bun cha when he visited Vietnam for his previous performance in 2018," Duong said. "He was impressed and wants to try it again."

Other meals of the artist mainly include European and Japanese dishes, which have been selected by his assistant. All of the dishes served to him and his entourage will be prepared by the hotel they stay in to guarantee their hygiene standards, Duong said.

The saxophonist also requested to have separate rooms at a five-star hotel for him and each member of his team, including a presidential-suite for himself.

An English-speaking driver is scheduled to pick the artist and his team up from the airport by a luxury car. The organizers also bought insurance for him and every member of his team.

He asked the event organizers to cut down on unnecessary activities, so that he can perform in his best health.

Many requirements about equipment and the show’s setup were also listed. Duong said he traveled to Japan half a year ago to find props according to the artist’s requirements, and it took the organizers hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy or rent and deliver the equipment to Vietnam.

Other standards about the stage setup were included, and the artist’s manager will check if things are done exactly to their requests prior to the show. They are for the artist and members in his band to communicate and cooperate with one another most efficiently, said his entourage.

Having total control of his set list, the saxophonist said he rearranged a Vietnamese traditional folk song in the smooth jazz genre. He said he would only reveal the song at the performance night in order to give his audience a surprise.

Born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, Kenny G, 67, started playing the saxophone aged 10.

He began his professional music career as an orchestra sideman at age 17, and debuted as a solo artist aged 26.

With 75 million records sold globally, Kenny G is one of the best-selling artists of all time.

His upcoming show will mark his second performance in Vietnam, upon the invitation from Nhan Dan newspaper, the "Good Morning Vietnam" concert’s initiator. Revenue from ticket sales will be donated to charity.

He performed in Vietnam for the first time in 2018 as part of his "Brazilian Nights" album’s promotional tour.

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