Nguyen plays dan tranh, Vietnamese traditional 16-string zither. His music collection, Beyond Borders, has been nominated for the World Beat genre in the Album category.
This is Nguyen’s third album, in which he has collaborated with musicians from all over the world. He has combined popular folk songs of Vietnam with various musical instruments from Africa, America, Asia and Europe.
“My task was to make Vietnamese ancestral music encounter the instruments and traditions from other continents, while respecting the authenticity of each, be it in spirit or in form,” Nguyen wrote in an introduction to the album on his website.
“In Beyond Borders, my greatest joy has been to collaborate with outstanding musicians from Africa to America, from Europe to Asia. It is a continuation of my musical journey, and I pray this will bring people of all nations together to understand and have mutual respect for each culture. I believe music brings peace to the soul, as it does to mankind,” Nguyen said.
Last year, the album was selected for the first round of the Grammys but failed to go further.
Nguyen began learning piano from a French teacher in Vietnam at the age of five. After graduating from HCM City Music Academy, he continued his studies in Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris.
In 2015, his debut album, Consonnances, received the USA Global Music Award’s Gold Medal for World Music and was chosen as one of the top 10 albums of 2015. In November the same year, the album received another award from AKADEMIA USA for the Best Album (instrumental/classical category).
In May 2016, Nguyen released his new EP, A Journey Between Worlds, which marked an exciting new chapter in world fusion music, combining for the first time the exotic ancient melodies of Vietnam with the rhythms of Arabic music.