Music Tea House

Classical composer and avant-garde performer Byron Au Yong announces the initiative Music Tea House: a place for musicians and listeners to exchange ideas through sound.

Since traveling through East Asia in 1995, Au Yong has wanted to start a live performance tea house where the health benefits of drinking tea in public are combined with the healthy interaction of artists who play acoustic music. Music Tea House Seattle fosters the development of a consortium for musicians, artists, community organizers, and tea drinkers. In addition, the Music Tea House location will provide much-needed rehearsal space on a sliding scale membership fee for amateur, community, and professional musicians.

Music Tea House events will include featured musician as well as an excerpt from the musician who will perform at the following event. The featured artist can choose to perform with the next-event artist or invite them to play a sample of their work. This passing-the-torch idea introduces musicians and listeners to other local performers and new audiences. Over time, Music Tea House will become the acoustic venue where local musicians are encouraged to play together and challenge themselves in a convivial environment.

Audiences should expect acoustic music from a variety of genres that range from Asian folk music to avant-garde jazz. Complimentary tea and snacks will be served. For listeners from afar, free 24/7 audio recordings archived on the web through podcasts or internet radio will be produced.

Admission for this all-ages event will be a suggested donation. The performing musician will receive 80% of the gross profits, with 20% going to the volunteer organizers for operating expenses. Sponsors and organizations are invited to partner with Music Tea House and resident musicians.

Au Yong hopes that Music Tea Houses will become ubiquitous around the world as they once were throughout China, so that if for example, you go to Music Tea House Buenos Aires or Music Tea House Reykjavik, you will connect with local artists in those cities. With Music Tea House Seattle, he creates a local networking model for those who are invigorated by music, tea, art, culture, and ideas to gather in a place devoted to community building.

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