At age 14, Jarrelle Barton (Chinese name: Jie Ao, 杰遨) began learning guzheng from master Li Jiaxiang (李嘉骧), a former musician of the Beijing Dance Academy (北京舞蹈学院) who had studied with the Chaozhou zheng master Fan Shang'e. From Li, Barton learned traditional pieces, particularly those from the Teochew and Hakka schools of southern China, as well as modern-style guzheng solos. Now 26, Barton is in constant demand for events throughout the Twin Cities and beyond, and developed an international following online. In 2017 he was featured on Minnesota Public Radio and invited to perform with guzheng master Bei Bei He in Los Angeles. Other notable performance venues include Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, the Mall of America, the Twin Cities Lantern Festival, the Anderson Center (residency and performance) and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. In December 2018 he was selected for a 2018 Minnesota Emerging Composer Award (MECA), for which he will create a new large-scale composition for guzheng and mixed ensemble.