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Jon Jang

From: Dmae Roberts
Series: Crossing East - Asian American History series
Length: 04:59

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Jon Jang, composer and jazz pianist, who paved the way for Asian American jazz musicians.
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Jon Jang
From
Dmae Roberts

A8big_small Jon Jang is a composer and jazz pianist who has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. He is featured on over ten albums and has composed commissions for many theater productions and major concert halls. REVIEW: Reviews Author: Art Lange Source: Pulse! from March 2000 issue Just as drummer Max Roach was at the the forefront fo the '40s bebop musical revolution and the subsequent civil rights movement that grew in part from its strong self-determination message, pianist Jon Jang is a key member of the burgeoning Asian American awareness and reparation movement. And while their first-time musical meeting may not confront any specific social or political agenda, the music reveals them to be remarkably compatible. Jang's compositions draw from Chinese folk melodies and modalities, and his piano playing encompasses tremolos and cascades energized by splashy free jazz choral baranges. Working on Jang's terrain, Roach displays his mesmerizing lyricism and sensitivity, cleanly articulating rolling, melodically-accented rhythms that support the music with welcome muscle and sinew. Jiebing Chen's erhu (a bowed, two-string fiddle) adds color and counterpoint, darting and drifting like a butterfly, and gives voice to the alternately melancholy ("Fallen Petals"), bittersweet ("Heart in a Different Place") and jubilant ("Now's the Time!") moods. (Four Stars) This piece was originally produced for the Crossing East Asian American history series as 5-minute news fill pieces.

Piece Description

Jon Jang is a composer and jazz pianist who has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. He is featured on over ten albums and has composed commissions for many theater productions and major concert halls. REVIEW: Reviews Author: Art Lange Source: Pulse! from March 2000 issue Just as drummer Max Roach was at the the forefront fo the '40s bebop musical revolution and the subsequent civil rights movement that grew in part from its strong self-determination message, pianist Jon Jang is a key member of the burgeoning Asian American awareness and reparation movement. And while their first-time musical meeting may not confront any specific social or political agenda, the music reveals them to be remarkably compatible. Jang's compositions draw from Chinese folk melodies and modalities, and his piano playing encompasses tremolos and cascades energized by splashy free jazz choral baranges. Working on Jang's terrain, Roach displays his mesmerizing lyricism and sensitivity, cleanly articulating rolling, melodically-accented rhythms that support the music with welcome muscle and sinew. Jiebing Chen's erhu (a bowed, two-string fiddle) adds color and counterpoint, darting and drifting like a butterfly, and gives voice to the alternately melancholy ("Fallen Petals"), bittersweet ("Heart in a Different Place") and jubilant ("Now's the Time!") moods. (Four Stars) This piece was originally produced for the Crossing East Asian American history series as 5-minute news fill pieces.

Broadcast History

Aired in 2006 as news fill pieces for Crossing East.

Transcript

JON JANG
Script

HOST: I?M DMR WITH THE CROSSING EAST MUSIC FEATURE.

PIANIST JON JANG?S FIRST INSTRUMENT WAS ACTUALLY THE SNARE DRUM WHICH HE PLAYED TO SOUSA MARCHES IN THE SCHOOL BAND IN 4TH GRADE. AFTER LISTENING TO JOHN COLTRANE IN HIS TEEN YEARS, HE WAS INSPIRED TO PLAY JAZZ.

JANG: When I heard the music of John Coltrane, specifically the live version of my favorite things, I wore out the record. And in high school I had a history teacher, he knew I was interested in music. He gave me the book ?blues people? and I learned how the music was related to life. The basic premise was as the lives of African Americans change, the music changed. So the music was about changing tradition.

HOST: CHANGING TRADITIONS IS WHAT JANG END UP DOING THROUGH HIS MUSIC. GROWING UP IN THE 70?S IN MIDDLE CLASS SUBURBAN PALO ALTO. HE COULD COUNT THE NUMBER OF ASIAN KIDS IN HIS SCHOOL ON ONE...
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Related Website

http://crossingeast.org/artists.htm