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Press Release

American String Duo to Perform in Taiwan September 30 - October 4

PR0348E | Date: 2003-09-29

The American Institute in Taiwan Public Affairs Section is pleased to announce that it will present live performances of the American String Duo September 30 to October 4. World-recognized guitarist, Steve Hancoff, and banjo player, Bud Wachter, will perform before audiences in Taipei, Hsinchu, Chungli, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung.

Steve and Buddy have performed together as U.S. artistic ambassadors since 1993. They will introduce Taiwan audiences to the greatest American musical legends through selections by composers and musicians such as Stephen Foster, J.P. Sousa, Scott Joplin, Jelly-Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. With only one banjo and one guitar, they will play the folk songs that describe the life and times of the people of the United States.

Steve Hancoff began playing guitar when he was 13 years old. He is currently hard at work on his second set of recordings of Duke Ellington's music. In addition to performing concerts, he also conducts master classes and serves as Artist-in-Residence while giving talks about his cross-cultural experiences. He holds a BA degree from St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, esteemed for its "One Hundred Great Books of the Western World" program, and a Master's degree in clinical social work. He is a practitioner of T'ai Chi Chuan, an avid hiker and an aspiring whitewater river guide.

Buddy Wachter is acknowledged to be America's greatest four-string banjo player. He has made five solo recordings and published numerous articles and instructional materials for the banjo. He also created a library of more than thirty works for banjo and orchestra through new transcriptions, arrangements and original compositions. His exploration of a wide variety of musical styles from jazz to pop and his own adaptations of classical works, have done much to reshape the image of the banjo today.

The presentation in Taiwan marks the beginning of the American String Duo's first tour to this part of the Asian region. After their Taiwan tour concludes on October 5, the duo will visit Jakarta, Chengdu, Beijing and Ulaanbaatar. The Taiwan presentation is made possible by AIT's Public Affairs Section with the assistance of the Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, generous support of the Far Eastern Group and the Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs.

Program details are as follows:

Date: September 30, 2003
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Zyxel Hall, National Tsinghua University, Hsinchu

Date: October 1, 2003
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Place: Performance Hall, Yuan Ze University, Chungli

Date: October 3, 2003
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: P102 Multi-Media Room, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan

Date: October 3, 2003
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Da-An Park Amphitheater, Taipei

Date: October 4, 2003
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Yat-sen Hall, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung

Admission to the concert at Da-An Park is free; the public is encouraged to visit the AIT website at to download online complimentary tickets and program details. For more information please contact the AIT Public Affairs Office at 2723-3959 ext. 214 or 2784-2315; fax: 2725-2934; e-mail: