Her improv work with Derek Bailey and John Zorn has taken her ancient Chinese string instrument into the future.
The Village Voice
Min Xiao-Fen, a sublime pipa player and a canny improviser who went toe-to-toe with the legendary Derek Bailey on multiple occasions… she performs her "Mao, Monk and Me" solo; then, she leads her quartet through "From Harlem to Shanghai and Back," a suite that commemorates trumpeter Buck Clayton's visit to Shanghai in the mid-’30s.
Time Out New York
Min Xiao-Fen, is a pipa player like no other… In her trio, Blue Pipa, with guitar and double bass, the lutelike pipa becomes a super-banjo
New York Times
Min Xiao-Fen demonstrated the instrument’s (and her) versatility by introducing the pipa with a sassy, credible, improvised Monk’s “Ask Me Now.”
Los Angeles Times
Since her arrival here in 1996, she has expanded her instrument's possibilities as an element for contemporary composers and as a voice within the landscapes of jazz and free improvisation.