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GEN: LEGACIES IN TRANSFORMATION

Thursday, April 09, 2015 at 07:00 PM
Asian Art Museum - Samsung Hall in San Francisco, CA

Collaboration and Collision at the Intersection of Tradition and the Avant-Garde 

GenRyu Arts, along with a stellar cast of musicians and dancers from around the globe, will join us at the museum to celebrate 20 years of “collaboration and collision at the intersection of tradition and the avant-garde.” Founded as Gen Taiko in 1995 and incorporated as GenRyu Arts in 2008, the group’s mission is to promote, present and participate in Japanese and Japanese American culture through Taiko drumming and other traditional and contemporary art forms. Deeply rooted in San Francisco’s Japantown and in the Asian American Community, GenRyu Arts merges Japanese cultural forms—Taiko, dance and folk songs—with new music, spoken word and visual design. These singular expressions honor community heritage and address key issues stemming from the legacy of internment and redevelopment, both of which continue to impact San Francisco’s Japanese American community.   

The interdisciplinary performance features artists Tatsu Aoki, Kioto Aoki, Francis Wong, Megan Lee, Wesley Hitomo Yee and Melody Takata, as well as master artists Chizuru Kineya and Michikaoru Hanayagi. 

Chizuru Kineya – Grand Master Samisen Player 
Chizuru Kineya is a Nagauta samisen artist and an accredited master of the instrument from the legendary Kineya Shamisen family. She began her studies at the age of 6. Kineya performs in the Japanese music and performing arts scene, and makes regular appearances at the National Theater of Japan. She conducts workshops for regional schools and popular media to educate the general public of the nearly 400-year history of the samisen tradition. The 11th annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival marked her US debut and first collaboration with artists working in the Chicago Blues tradition. Kineya has been a regular collaborator with Tatsu Aoki and Genryu Arts in SF since her first Taiko Legacy appearance in 2005. In 2012, Chizuru Kineya produced the Tokyo Samisen CD project, TOYOAKIMOTO, with Tatsu Aoki.  

Michikaoru Hanayagi – Japanese Classical Dancer
 
Michikaoru Hanayagi began her dance training at the age of 3. After dancing for the Takarazuka Revue, she received a Master’s License from the Hanayagi School of Japanese Classical Dance, and has been dancing and teaching traditional dance ever since. She performs and hosts workshops internationally, and works to preserve traditional Japanese arts and culture through Shikunshi, her non-profit organization. In addition to her work with Shikunshi, Hanayagi established Oukasanjyuku, a school for Japanese women to learn and share the heart and soul of Japanese culture.

Free with Museum Admission


20 YEARS OF GENRYU ARTS ANNIVERSARY PERFORMANCE ASIAN ART MUSEUM APRIL 11

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 01:00 PM
Asian Art Museum - Samsung Hall in San Francisco, CA

Melody Takata will take audiences on an aural and visual adventure with one of the most beloved performing arts groups in SF. With GenRyu Arts, Takata has spent 20 years creating space for the expression of Japanese festival rituals (O-matsuri). The celebration on Saturday, April 11, brings dance, drumming and jazz to the museum through both traditional and contemporary arrangements—featuring GenRyu Arts’ intergenerational performers in an affirmation of our connection to nature, family and community. The performance features the Gen Ensemble, as well as special guests: Tatsu Aoki, Koto Aoki and master artist Hideko Nakajima. 

Admission Free with Museum Admission,  click here for more info.


Arlene Biala & John-Carlos Perea: Her Beckoning Hands/Creation Story - Poetry, Music, and Dance in Collaboration

Monday, April 20, 2015 at 01:10 PM

Presented by Asian Improv aRts, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and San Francisco State University Creative Music Studies

 

 John-Carlos Perea (Photo by Robbie Sweeny)

 

Arlene Biala

 

Arlene Biala: poet

Jimmy Biala: percussion

Eddie Madril: dancer

John-Carlos Perea: electric bass, Native American flute, and voice

Francis Wong: saxophone

 

Her Beckoning Hands/Creation Story will feature the recently published creative works of poet Arlene Biala and multi-instrumentalist John-Carlos Perea presented in a collaborative performance. Her Beckoning Hands by Arlene Biala is a collection of poems as prayer flags, offerings across the ocean, earth, and sky. Biala's poems respond to family members, ancestors, spirits, deities, and beings whose voices have called out to her, and whose stories are of daily blessings, suffering, joy, and longing. Creation Story is a sonic journey through the many musical and cultural influences that have created John-Carlos Perea’s path as an urban American Indian creative musician.

 

Admission is Free!

 

 

This event is part of

 

ImprovisAsians! 2015: The People’s Stories

An Exploration of Text, Music, and Movement in the pursuit of narrative

April 20 -  24, 2015

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94132

 

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. ImprovisAsians! 2015 is presented by Asian Improv aRts in association with, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and SF State University Creative Music Studies. All events are free and open to the public!


Lewis Jordan - only children

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 01:10 PM

Presented by Asian Improv aRts, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and San Francisco State University Creative Music Studies

 

The project is a musical work called only children. Premiered in July 2013 at the Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco. Music with text, presented by a five-member ensemble: alto saxophone, violin, electric guitar, electric bass and drums/percussion.

 

The intended outcome is, as always, to stimulate the audience while the performers ourselves are discovering the nuances of the work. This work, only children, is specifically intended to meld three different perspectives on only children: only children, as in more than one only child; only children, as in Groddeck’s idea of growing older once more to be a child—childlike or childish; and only children, as in we are all children of the earth, no matter the religion. There is a theme of youth; there are themes of play; and there are themes built on scales that are middle eastern, or middleworldlian in my subtitle.

 

The performers will be the group whom Lewis has presented as Music at Large in recent years:

Lewis Jordan, alto saxophone and poetry

India Cooke, violin

Karl Evangelista, electric guitar

John-Carlos Perea, electric bass

Jimmy Biala, drums/percussion

 

Music at Large is the name Lewis often performs under, and also the series that he introduced many years ago. Music at Large is a home for musical improvisation that plays outside category and for performance that escapes genre. Lewis dedicates the concept to interdisciplinary and multicultural productions, with presentations ranging among music, theater, dance and poetry.

 

Please find clips of Lewis’ work at

http://www.lewisjordan.com/vid/music_video.html

(July 27, 2013 performance of only children)

 

Lewis Jordan was born in San Francisco, but he grew up in Chicago, with the blues and with learning to associate creative musicians with the advancement of society as we know it. On saxophones and with poetry, he is an international touring and recording artist. He first performed with the legendary Charles Tyler; was a founding member of United Front (the seminal ensemble known for its originality, aggressive imagination and cultural synthesis); and is the producer of Music at Large (an interdisciplinary project involving a range of artists, including dancers, painters and actors).  He focuses on creative structures for improvisation, and his interest continues to be meeting and working with performers who delve into their deeper resources for modes of expression that honor their traditions while speaking to the urgency of the present.

 

This event is part of

 

ImprovisAsians! 2015: The People’s Stories

An Exploration of Text, Music, and Movement in the pursuit of narrative

April 20 -  24, 2015

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94132

 

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. ImprovisAsians! 2015 is presented by Asian Improv aRts in association with, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and SF State University Creative Music Studies. All events are free and open to the public!

 

Admission is Free!


Talking Story: A Roundtable Discussion on Text, Music, and Narrative

Friday, April 24, 2015 at 10:15 AM
Room CA 152 Creative Arts Building in San Francisco, CA

Presented by Asian Improv aRts, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and San Francisco State University Creative Music Studies

Lewis Jordan

John-Carlos Perea

Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim

Hafez Modirzadeh

Francis Wong

 

In conversation

 

This event is part of

 

ImprovisAsians! 2015: The People’s Stories

An Exploration of Text, Music, and Movement in the pursuit of narrative

April 20 -  24, 2015

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94132

 

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. ImprovisAsians! 2015 is presented by Asian Improv aRts in association with, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and SF State University Creative Music Studies. All events are free and open to the public!

 


Dr. Hafez Modirzadeh SF State Creative Art Ensemble with guest, Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim (story)

Friday, April 24, 2015 at 01:10 PM

Presented by Asian Improv aRts, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and San Francisco State University Creative Music Studies

 

 

Dr. Hafez Modirzadeh

SF State Creative Art Ensemble

with guest, Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim (story):

 

 

Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim

 

Hafez Modirzadeh (Director) - saxophone

Pezhham Akhavass (Assistant Director) - Indian tabla, Persian Oud, tombak, daf

Shura Taylor (Assistant Director) - Chinese guzheng

Spenser Steinman - accordion

Julian Hayes - piano

Alex Farrell - bass

Pietro D'Amato and Lilian Wu - drums

Nicholas de Anda - saxophone

Francis Wong - saxophone

Susanna Shidlovsky - vocals

 

Program:

 

1. Step Suite (from J. Coltrane's Giant Steps)

2. Purple Bamboo (trad. Jiangnan Sizhu)

3. Legacy of Voices (Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim)

 

The SF State Creative Art Ensemble (previously Creative World Ensemble) is an intercultural group of students who compose and perform original music, often times in collaboration with other artistic disciplines. This program's guest is Jennifer Nori Ahlgrim, a Waldorf educator of Laguna Pueblo, Okanagan and Navajo ancestry. She worked closely with Babatunde Olatunji the last years of his life, and is now in the process of finishing a book on her own ancestral story, which includes the inspiring life of her mother, Dolores, the only daughter (adopted) of legendary mid-20th century Cherokee educator/activist, Ruth Muskrat Bronson (1897-1981).

 

Admission is Free!

 

This event is part of

 

ImprovisAsians! 2015: The People’s Stories

An Exploration of Text, Music, and Movement in the pursuit of narrative

April 20 -  24, 2015

San Francisco State University

Creative Arts Building

1600 Holloway Ave.

San Francisco, CA 94132

 

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. ImprovisAsians! 2015 is presented by Asian Improv aRts in association with, the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and SF State University Creative Music Studies. All events are free and open to the public!


Francis Wong & Tatsu Aoki with Lenora Lee - Wong Wei’s Gamble (World Premiere)

Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 07:00 PM

(Photo by Leon Sun)

Wong Wei’s Gamble is a new four movement musical work by Francis Wong that will feature the composer, shamisen performer Tatsu Aoki, dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee, bassist John-Carlos Perea, guitarist Karl Evangelista, Yangqin (hammered dulcimer) performer Yangqin Zhao, drums and gong performer Karen Stackpole, trapset drummer Deszon X. Claiborne. WWG will memorialize the story of Wong Wei, the composer’s grandfather, a professional jockey and business manager who dared to open up the International Racecourse of Tianjin in northern China during the Japanese occupation of World War II - the once active course had been closed by the occupiers - as a means to provide employment and entertainment for the city during this dark period. In a move that risked being labeled a “collaborator”.

Presented by San Francisco International Arts Festival, Asian Pacific Island Cultural Center and Asian Improv aRts 

Tickets: $15-$30 General Admission and Reserved Seating

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About Francis Wong

Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong (musical director / composer), 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, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi, John Tchicai, and Fred Anderson.


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Asian Improv aRts
Founded in 1987, Asian Improv aRts’ (AIR) mission is to produce, present and document artistic works that represent the Asian American experience.