An award winning guzheng artist and ethnomusicologist based in Newfoundland, Canada. Born and raised in Hunan, China, Xia started to study the guzheng at six years old and holds degrees in music performance (B.A.), arts management (M.A.), and ethnomusicology (Ph.D.). Xia's recent accolades include winning the 2023 East Coast Music Award "Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year" and the 2023 MusicNL Award "Album of the Year" for her solo album, "The Numinous Journey". She was named the 2023 MusicNL “Solo Artist of the Year” and 2022 MusicNL "Rising Star of the Year".
As a performer of all styles, her musical journey on the guzheng has encompassed Chinese traditional and folk music to intercultural ensembles, improvisational music, and beyond. Her 2022 guzheng CD “The Numinous Journey” shows her diverse musical pathways and presents the guzheng in a wide range of musical genres. Xia has played with various musicians and musical groups, including guzheng virtuoso Mei Han, Newfoundland trad-rock band Shanneyganock, and Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra. In 2018, she performed the world premiere of “The Congruent Place” in collaboration with the Regina-based composer Clinton Ackerman at the St. John’s Sound Symposium XIX. In January 2023, Xia world premiered Jubilant Entanglements, a guzheng concerto by well-known composer Andrew Staniland with Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Xia has been active in the music scenes in North America and performed in diverse musical events, including DuneFest (Saint-Pierre et Miquelon), SappyFest (NB), Newfoundland Folk Festival, Nashville Chinese New Year Festival, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Moving her tradition into the future, Xia formed the Light Wind Ensemble, the first Chinese ensemble in Newfoundland, and XIA-3, a fusion intercultural band, with a repertoire ranging from Chinese classics to free improv and post-rock music.
As an educator and scholar, Xia has been teaching music for more than a decade and has given informative lectures, workshops, and performances at universities and conferences around the world. Her research focuses on the diasporic experience of professional Chinese instrumentalists and their intercultural and transnational music-making in North America. With an dedication to community enrichment, Xia has served as a board member in multiple music organizations, including the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO), and the Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl (AAMP). She is an artist researcher at the Currently Arts Society and the secretary of the Improvisation Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology. Xia has also worked as a researcher in many cultural organizations, including the Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media, and Place (NL, Canada), We Care Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL, Canada), the Center for Chinese Music and Culture (TN, the U.S.), and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (Washington D.C., the U.S.).