San Francisco pianist/composer Jon Jang is an artist who minds history and makes history. Over the past three decades he’s created a series of jazz-infused works that celebrate, commemorate or comment on pivotal moments in the struggle for social justice, often from a radical political perspective. But Jang isn’t averse to stepping into the annals himself, whether serving as the fulcrum in the unprecedented Beijing Trio with legendary drummer Max Roach and erhu virtuoso Jiebing Chen or co-founding Asian Improv Records, a label that’s documented the creatively charged Asian-American jazz movement since its inception.
His collaboration with poet, performance artist, playwright and PEN award-winning novelist Paul Flores is a searing examination of U.S. immigration policies on the southern border, where families have been separated and many children remain in custody, and its historic precedent of Japanese-American families interred during WWII. An artist with a keen eye for cultural complexity, Flores earned widespread attention for his YBCA production We Have Iré, which focused on the true stories of Afro-Cuban artists living in the United States, including saxophonist/composer Yosvany Terry, choreographer/dancer Ramon Ramos Alayo, and Oakland hip-hop artist DJ Leydis.
This event takes place as part of
JAZZ & SOCIAL JUSTICE WEEK · FEB 3-6
A group of visionary Bay Area artists bring themes of immigration, incarceration and racial inequality into focus during this inspiring week of new works.
Supported, in part, by the San Francisco Arts Commission.