About Francis Wong
Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong, considered one of "the great saxophonists of his generation" by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles as a leader and sideman. For over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe with such with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Tatsu Aoki, Genny Lim,William Roper, Bobby Bradford, John Tchicai, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi.
But to simply call the Bay Area native a musician would be to ignore his pioneering leadership in communities throughout Northern California. Wong's imaginative career straddles roles as varied as performing artist, youth mentor, composer, artistic director, community activist, non-profit organization manager, consultant, music producer, and academic lecturer. Key vehicles for his work are Asian Improv aRts, the company he co-founded with Jon Jang and as a Senior Fellow at the Wildflowers Institute. In addition, Wong was a California Arts Council Artist in Residence from 1992 through 1998, and a Meet The Composer New Resident in 2000-2003. In 2000-2001 he was a Rockefeller Next Generation Leadership Fellow. He has also been a guest member of the faculty at San Francisco State University (1996-98) and at University of California at Santa Cruz (1996-2001).
”I choose for my work to build community and to seek out how I, as an artist can meet the challenges that our community faces. In the Asian American community, the biggest challenge is continuity of culture and the impact of assimilation. Through music, I envision a way to create continuity through the integration of tradition and innovation.
Francis Current project you can support!:
Remembrance Rising: In Tribute to the World War II Comfort Women is an interdisciplinary work featuring poetry, dance, and music in dialogue with the public art piece Comfort Women Column of Strength Memorial in St. Mary’s Square in San Francisco Chinatown.
Featuring composer/saxophonist Francis Wong, dancer and poet Lynn Huang, dancer Flora Hyoin Kim Han, tuba performer William Roper, violinist Sandy Poindexter, and multi-percussionist Karen Stackpole. Parallel to the performing arts work is a companion zine set, created and illustrated by Katie Quan, focusing on the experiences of comfort women, Jan Ruff-O’Herne and Maria Rosa Henson.
Both projects are made possible through the inaugural Comfort Women Research and Creative Scholarship Small Grant Awards program. Presented by Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, and Lenora Lee Dance.
There will be one indoor performance at the Manilatown Heritage Center on Friday 7-8pm 5/19 and one outdoor performance at the site of the Comfort Women Memorial in St. Mary’s that will be video recorded at 2pm-3pm on Saturday 5/20.
Please register here on Eventbrite
Friday, May 19, 7-8pm, at Manilatown Heritage Foundation (868 Kearny St., SF)
Saturday, May 20, 2-3pm, at St. Mary’s Square