The AmCham connection: How Ivan Strunin's Gypsy Jazz teacher got to Hong Kong


Hot Club of San Francisco play at the Asia Society in Hong Kong next week. Don't miss it. Photo: Lenny Gonzalez

Here's a charming story from stalwart AmCham supporter and fiddle-playing fanatic Ivan Strunin, Deloitte Managing Director of US Tax Services:

"In the summer of 2018 I was taking Gypsy Jazz lessons from Evan Price, the violinist for the Hot Club of San Francisco. We started corresponding and I invited him to Hong Kong and offered my guest room.
Ivan Strunin: Taxation expert and expert fiddler... an uncommon combination. "He said it would be difficult but should I be able to book the band they could come out. He was actually joking, but I said, 'Let me see what I can do.' I had not a clue because most of my music venue connections are bars that couldn’t afford to bring a band like that all the way from the States.
"Then, as I was sitting in the AmCham Women of Influence awards last year an award went to Andrea Fessler from Premier Performances Hong Kong, and I thought, there was my answer. I sent promo materials and YouTube links of the music, and the rest is history. I also got Deloitte to contribute as a sponsor of the event (as did I personally) and Andrea and her team did all the work. 
"I had always wanted to see something in Hong Kong where students could benefit from the same kind of education I was getting at the Swannanoa Gathering (the music camp I have been going to). The beauty of something like this is that the band will be doing some community teaching as well."


From the organizers: The Hot Club of San Francisco plays the gypsy jazz music of guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli and the original Hot Club de France. This unique jazz form recalls Paris in the 1930s and offers a swinging beat with a sweet melody. The Hot Club performs many of the original works by Reinhardt and Grappelli and incorporates original works by guitarist Paul Mehling and Grammy-award winning violinist Evan Price.