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Cui Jian

Cui Jian [tsʰwéɪ tɕjɛ̂n] (born 2 August 1961) is a Beijing-based Chinese singer-songwriter, trumpeter and guitarist. Affectionately called "Old Cui" (Chinese: 老崔; pinyin: lǎo Cuī), he is considered to be a pioneer in Chinese rock music and one of the first Chinese artists to write rock songs. For this distinction Cui Jian is often labeled "The Father of Chinese Rock". Cui Jian grew up in a musical family in Beijing—his father was ethnic Korean and a professional trumpet player and his mother was a member of a Korean dance troupe. Cui Jian himself started playing the trumpet at the age of fourteen and joined the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra in 1981, at the age of twenty. He was first introduced to rock during this period when friends smuggled in illicit recordings from Hong Kong and Bangkok. Inspired by the likes of Simon and Garfunkel and John Denver, Cui began learning to play the guitar. In 1984 he formed his first band, Qi He Ban (lit: Seven Plywood, but notably called "Seven-Player band") with six other classically-trained musicians, including the saxophonist/suona player Liu Yuan. The seminal band was heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads.

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