Asian American Music Festival, Movement 2 (Generations)
Saturday, October 16, 1:30pm
Tateuchi Democracy Forum @ Japanese American National Museum, 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles (Little Tokyo), 90012
GF3 – Gary Fukushima, piano; Miles Senzaki, drums; JP Maramba, bass
Jon Jang – Solo Piano
Pan Asian Arkestra featuring Jon Jang’s Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Taiko
Saxophone/Flute: Hitomi Oba, Ian Vo, Michael Birnbryer
Trumpet, Trombone: Josh Aguiar, Nick DePinna
Bass, Drums, Piano: JP Maramba, Miles Senzaki, Gary Fukushima
Taiko: Yuri Yoshida, Liz Ishida
It’s been a hectic few weeks as I have been preparing for this upcoming show. As I mentioned here last week, there are great shows happening all weekend by a lot of performers from different musical backgrounds coming from different parts of the world.
The Pan Asian Arkestra is my own handpicked group of musicians that I am really excited to play with. All of the players are tremendous musicians and improvisers and they are really getting a handle on the music. The Jang piece is very much in the mold of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, a sparse but melodic orchestration and plenty of space for improvisation, and a flair for the dramatic. Saxophonist and composer Hitomi Oba has written a new piece just for the concert, entitled The Generations Tree, a study in contrast from the Jang piece, with intricate interlocking rhythms and a subtle undulation of texture throughout. It’s a thoughful, beautiful piece and it is a nice complement to Jang’s more forceful Concerto.
I’m also really looking forward to hearing Jon Jang play solo piano. The Chicago Sun-Times describes how his performance “instantly conjured up Chinese folk instruments; the rudely harmonized yawp of double-reeds, the shimmering plucked strings of a pipa, the punctuating sweep of a zither…and in the middle of all that he shifted without fanfare into the ringing chords and stately motion of vintage gospel piano.” Jang is a true master improviser and I can’t wait to hear him.
As for the trio, we have been working hard on preparing some new material for the show. In fact, we have started to record (finally) and you can hear and download some of the new tracks on my website and at bandcamp.com. I’m excited to be recording after all these years with Miles and JP and you can expect a lot of music from us over the next year.
For me, this Saturday afternoon performance will be one of the highlights of the year. All the music and the musicians mean a lot to me personally and I hope that you will come out to see what takes place.