Born and raised in Beijing, Wu Fei is a composer, vocalist and performer of the guzheng (Chinese zither), as well as the piano. She began performing guzheng at the age of six, and spent her formative years studying composition at the China Conservatory of Music. She holds an M.A. in Composition from Mills College where she studied improvisation and composition.

Wu Fei has performed and recorded with musicians such as John Zorn, Fred Frith, Billy Martin (Medeski-Martin-Wood), Carla Kilhstedt (Tin Hat Trio), and Grammy winning musicians Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck. Her commissions range from a composition for the Percussions Claviers de Lyon (France) that premiered in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, to live performances in Paris and Tokyo for Hermès. She has composed for Balinese gamelan, symphony orchestra, choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, film, and modern dance. She has performed at The Stone and MoMA in New York City, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Vossa Jazz Festival in Norway, Europalia in Belgium, and Madame Guitar Festival in Italy. Fei has also been a guest lecturer and performer at institutions including China Conservatory of Music, Middlebury College, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and University of Colorado in Boulder. 

In 2016, Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn were awarded a Metro Nashville Arts Grant, partnering with OZ Arts, to bring their multicultural music to children at schools throughout Nashville. Wu and Washburn continue their work together in 2017 as they prepare to release their first duo album later this year. 


  • DVD “Shan Qi” nominated for Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Award of the German Record Critique), 2009.
  • Composer Fellowship, the Sally & Don Lucas Artist Residency by Montalvo Arts Center, 2009
  • “Yuan” Best Album of The Week – Alarm Magazine 11/25/2008
  • Best World Music Artist 2008 – Westword
  • Debut record “A Distant Youth” on World Music Chart Europe 2008


      Left Bank Artists
      Nashville, TN

      Carissa Stolting

A list of Wu Fei's compositions + commisioned works can be viewed here.

| By Danwei Music

Released in 2007, Wu Fei talks about her China tour and her improvisation on the guzheng with other experimental musicians. The film was shot in the courtyard of her family's Beijing apartment.