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Last Night of the Cangelosi Cards

Remember the fabulous New York jazz band I wrote about a few weeks ago? Those old-time jazz talents The Cangelosi Cards had their last gig at the House of Blues and Jazz last night before heading home to the US, and some night it was.

The house was packed with an eclectic mix of locals, travellers, musicians, jazz lovers and dancers. People from all over the world. If you have ever seen the film ‘The White Countess’, set in Shanghai bars in the 1930s, you’ll know what I’m talking about – Ralph Fiennes’ character strives for a bar with the right mix of cosmopolitan sophistication, politics, innuendo and danger. The House of Blues and Jazz has it all, although the only danger likely to befall you is that you will spend too much money on strange green drinks that will make you quite ill the next day……

Not long after arriving we met a Russian firecracker called Rowena who had stepped off a plane from Moscow not three hours ago, and was putting her own unique style of dance out there on the dance floor. It was really unique, with feet, arms and head apparently all dancing to different music genres, an amazing talent. Her feet thought they were doing classical ballet, her arms had touches of Bollywood, her hips were into swing, but her head seemed to have a life of its own and at random points she shook it wildly back and forth. Genre unknown.


The Cards played on regardless, and in a brilliant touch they had invited all the musicians who have played with them for the last three months along for the night – each took it in turns to play a number with the band, from the inspiring African singer who joined them for a languid ‘Summertime’ to a wickedly talented Chinese harmonica player who filled the room with energy. Everyone had a grand old time, and we all felt Shanghai to be the most wonderful place in the world. Thanks fellas, we’ll sure miss you.