Best World-Music Artist - 2008
Trained since the age of six in the art of classical Chinese guzheng music (the guzheng is a plucked zither with an ancient history), this virtuoso Beijinger now living in Boulder works with one foot firmly planted in tradition. The other foot has walked off into a brave new world of contemporary fusion, a wide-open genre that Wu Fei fell into during her stint at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. In the years since, she's worked all over the world with the likes of Fred Frith, John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Lukas Ligeti and other celebrated experimental/new-music cronies. She'll travel back to China in August as guest of the month-long Beijing Olympics Performance Series, and she also has invitations to play in Dublin and Sardinia. Let's enjoy her while we can; Wu Fei plans to move to Berlin in the fall.