INTERVIEW: Taiwanese Waves’ Mia Yen on Bringing Taiwanese Music to New York

One woman is on a mission to take Taiwan’s leading musical talent to a wider audience in New York.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/06/06
By: Jocelle Koh

“If you think it’s right, then just do it. Don’t be worried. So far everything I’ve done and

Photo Credit: Emily Cheng

every idea I’ve had has been based on ‘I think it’s the right thing to do.’”

This was the final piece of advice Taiwanese Waves event curator and music promoter Mia Min Yen (嚴敏) proffered as we closed off our hour-long interview, which also coincided with our first face-to-face meeting in October 2017. Taiwanese Waves is an annual free-of-charge showcase of Taiwanese musical artists in New York’s Central Park, which this year falls on July 29 as part of the legendary Central Park SummerStage event that brings free concerts to the heart of the city each summer.

As one of the only other people I know to have set their sights on sharing Taiwanese or Mandarin music with Western audiences, I’ve always kept her words with me as a compass of sorts, providing guidance when the road ahead seems unclear. Mia has always been interested in Taiwan’s independent music scene. After moving to New York to pursue her masters degree, she began taking on jobs and opportunities to learn more about live music curation, with one of the internships being with SummerStage itself.

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