About the Blog

What can you find here?

Notes of Jo is where I share my experiences to help my readers exploring local culture at world destinations through my biggest passion – music, travel, and my life as an expat.

The Blog focuses on:

  • Unique Concerts and Music Related Performances: From orchestra to local musicians, from ballet to EDM, from festivals to street performances, or maybe it’s a restaurant or a club/bar that plays good music – I look for music when I travel, especially the kind I haven’t heard.
  • Musicians & Travel Stories: Not just my stories, but other musicians of my generation around the world – What they listen to, their favorite travel destinations, and more.
  • Food & Music: Sound can affect the way we taste food, often dramatically. I find restaurants, coffee shops, food & music festivals that feed good music to your ears besides good food.
  • Expat Life: Having lived in Taipei, New York, and Shanghai, I share my story living as an expat and my adventures.

Who’s Jo?

Joanne, the voice behind Notes of Jo.

Hey there! I am Joanne, and I began playing the piano since I was 3.5 years old – Just like most of the other Asian kids of my generation. It cannot be any more stereotypical than this, but I sticked with it until today! As a trained classical pianist, music has taken me to places and inspired me to travel. My first trip to Europe was for participating a summer music festival in Burgos, Spain back in 2008!

I am originally from Taiwan, and I moved to New York when I was 14. Alone. Currently, I live in the heart of Shanghai and work as a piano teacher teaching children of local and expat communities. I hold a bachelor and a master’s degree in classical piano performance from Manhattan School of Music and New York University.

When I have time off, I travel. I love exploring new places by feet, but I don’t mind cycling and taking road trips either. I also love food, coffee, fitness, camping, and hiking. Going to exotic beaches and discovering local cuisines, visiting museums and music-related exhibitions, and seeing concerts are some of my favourite things to do.

Why Following My Footsteps to Discover Music Around the World?

If there’s music playing, no matter where I am, I listen.

Music is not just a passion – it’s my profession. Heck, I moved all the way to NYC to pursue my studies in classical music when I was 14. Over two decades of training to become a professional musician, I have developed a critical and sensitive pair of ears. New York City also gave me the chance to meet great musicians and friends from all around the world.

I listen to all kinds of music (except death metal. Sorry, death metal fans.) When I travel, I look to connect with locals to learn about the music of their culture. When I arrive a new city, I find places to see a concert if possible. I am always seeking new ways to experience music!

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Got any other questions or want to work together? Feel free to drop me a message!
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joannetchen@gmail.com