Jing Xia, a professional guzheng player from China, started learning the instrument at six years old. She completed her bachelor’s degree in music performance, and in 2015, moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to begin her doctoral studies in ethnomusicology.
Since her arrival in St. John’s, her musical interest has expanded from traditional, folk, and contemporary guzheng music to new musical possibilities through intercultural and transnational music-making. Xia has played with various musicians and musical groups, including Mei Han, Paul Bendzsa, Ellen Waterman, Shanneyganock, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, and Roadrunner (Amsterdam). In 2018, she world premiered “Congruent Place” in collaboration with the Regina-based composer Clinton Ackerman at the St. John’s Sound Symposium XIX.
Xia has been active in the multicultural musical scenes in North American and performed in diverse musical events, including George Street Festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Chinese New Year Festival in Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival, British Columbia.
Driven by a passion to share Chinese culture and promote intercultural exchange, Xia has formed the Light Wind Ensemble, the first Chinese instrumental group in Newfoundland, who finished their debut performance at the Cape St. Mary’s Performance Series in 2019. The ensemble’s repertoire ranges from traditional folk music and classic compositions to creative improvisation and electronic music.
Xia is currently a PhD candidate in ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her research focuses on the diasporic experience of professional Chinese instrumentalists and their intercultural and transnational music-making in North America. Xia has given numerous lectures and workshops, and has presented her work at conferences around the world. She is currently working on a recording project with Teresa Marie Connors, Jacob Danson Faraday, and other Newfoundland musicians.