Brass ensemble Purple Gums performs, comprised of Bobby Bradford (cornet), William Roper (tuba) and Francis Wong (saxophones), carrying on the tradition of making music in the moment. Expect a tasty gumbo of jazz, free improv, ragtime and classical. With special guests Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) and Genny Lim (poetry).
Bobby Bradford (cornetist, trumpeter, and composer) He took up cornet in 1949 and played with Leo Wright, Buster Smith, and John Hardee (1952), with Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy in Los Angeles (1953), and in air force bands. After belonging to the Ornette Coleman Quartet in New York (1961) he attended Huston-Tillotson College (BM 1963) and moved to Los Angeles (1964), where he formed the New Art Jazz Ensemble with John Carter. He taught elementary school (1966-71), lived and worked in England (1971), then rejoined Coleman's group for a brief period in New York. From 1974 he taught at Pasadena City College and Pomona College, and from 1976 to 1978 belonged to the Little Big Horn workshop with Carter, Arthur Blythe, James Newton, and other free-jazz musicians. Bradford has performed most often with Carter; he has also appeared with David Murray Octet (1982-4), Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra (from 1982), John Steven's Freebob (1986), and his own group Mo'tet. As a composer he has been influenced by the blues and the music of Coleman.
William Roper (tuba) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. He has received awards from the NEA, CA Arts Council, L.A. Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Brody Arts Fund, ArtMatters Inc., American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, Durfee Foundation and JUSFC. He has been a resident artist at Djerassi Artists Program - California, Oberfalzer Künstlerhaus - Bavaria, College of the Canyons - California and a Japan/US Friendship Association Creative Artist Fellow in Japan. He has fulfilled commissions from Dance L.A., the Gloria Newman Dance Theatre, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, SASSAS and the College of the Canyons Symphonic Band. His compositions have been performed by the California E.A.R. Unit, TaiHei Ensemble, Sounds New Ensemble, Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, Cal Arts Cello Ensemble and others. He has collaborated with recognized artists in video, theater, performance and dance. Mr. Roper has performed throughout the Americas, Europe and Japan as soloist and in ensembles. He has released ten CDs as a leader or co-leader.
More About William Roper:
Few musicians are as accomplished as Francis Wong (Saxaphones), 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, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi, Fred Anderson, and John Tchicai. 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, nonprofit organization manager, consultant, music producer, and academic lecturer.
Genny Lim’s (poetry) award-winning play Paper Angels, was the first Asian American play featured on PBS’s American Playhouse in 1985, and was performed in China, Canada and throughout the U.S. She is the author of three poetry collections, Child of War and Winter Place, Paper Gods and Rebels and co-author of the American Book Award winning, Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, re-published in a new and expanded edition in 2014. She has performed in World international poetry festivals and collaborated with the late jazz legends Max Roach and Herbie Lewis, and Bay Area’s John Santos and long time collaborators Francis Wong, Jon Jang and Anthony Brown.
For the last eight years Lenora Lee (dancer/choreographer) has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history, and human rights issues. Her work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement and educational programming. Lee creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and at the same time large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength.
She has been a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, and producer for the past 18 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In 2013 she was an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum and a Djerassi Resident Artist. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University, an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater, and recently completed a newly commissioned work by Fort Mason Center in 2015. www.LenoraLeeDance.com
This is part of IMPROVISASIANS! 2016: Sounding Unity: In the Pursuit of Narrative
San Francisco State University - Creative Arts Building
1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
Tateuchi Auditorium, Sutter YWCA building
1830 Sutter St., San Francisco Japantown
ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University and San Francisco’s Japantown exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. All events are free and open to the public!
Presented by Asian Improv aRts, in association with the Sound and Social Justice Commons, and SF State University Creative Music Studies
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132
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