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My trip to China is getting closer and I couldn't be more excited for all the travel, meeting new people, and seeing some great old friends. I've been to China enough times to know that I love it. First, of course, I love the people. My experience with Chinese people is beyond great. I've been saved from disaster, fed, housed; you name the problem and a Chinese person has helped me out of it. Of course the food, oh my goodness the food! It's everywhere and everywhere it's good. My favorite is the street food, which some locals say will kill you for sure and others stay up late just to drink the warm beer and eat. Shanghai has the best street food, hands down, than any of the cities in China I've visited. Shanghai is the first city on the trip and I can't wait.There are three major music fairs that happen once a year in China and the MUSIC CHINA fair in Shanghai is the biggest. Tens of thousands of instrument dealers, musicians, and educators will attend the fair from Oct 8-11th. I'm really happy to exhibit at the fair with my friends from Tenon, the company that owns Chateau. They're a really fine group of individuals that take pride in the saxophones they make.

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The Shanghai show is always great. We are busy from the moment the show starts until well after it ends. I've been to the Shanghai show and given enough repair talks in that area now that I have a new family there. I'm excited for that time.

After the show, the Chateau guys and me fly off to Qingdao. Qingdao is a town that I only knew for its tasty beer. Although it's spelled differently, Qingdao is where they make TsingTao (sounds like Ching-dow) beer. Last year I went to Qingdao and had a great time. It's a beautiful, clean, and picturesque coastal city. I could easily live in Qingdao and I can't wait to go back.

After Qingdao, I will visit a few instrument factories. Most of the saxophone manufacturing occurs in the northeastern part of China around Beijing. My reasons for going are little different at each factory. But no matter the reason, I always enjoy seeing how one company solves a problem differently than another. Amongst other goals, I hope to visit both factories where they are currently manufacturing bass saxophones.

My trip to China will be over two weeks long. Then, as soon as I get back, I'll head to Columbus, Georgia for the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC). This event takes place from Oct 23-26 at Columbus State University and features an international solo saxophone competition, masterclasses, a large exhibit hall, and recitals.

Of course, I'll be available by email and texting etc...so don't be afraid to write me while I travel. If there is anything I can do for you while I'm in China at the trade show and the factories, or while I'm in Georgia, don't hesitate to let me know! -Curt