Composer Jon Jang became the first American born Chinese to compose a symphonic work that honors Chinese American history. Commissioned by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and Oakland East Bay Symphony, Jon Jang composed The Chinese American Symphony which pays tribute to the Chinese immigrant laborers who built the first transcontinental railroad in United States. For nearly four decades, composer and pianist Jon Jang give a musical voice to a history that has been silent. A majority of his works represents a chronology of Chinese American history in San Francisco such as Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 2 for the Kronos Quartet. Pianist/composer Jon Jang has collaborated and recorded with Max Roach, James Newton and David Murray. Jang’s ensembles have toured at major concert halls and music festivals in Europe, China, Canada, United States and South Africa, four months after the election to end apartheid in April 1994. Jang’s latest recording, The Pledge of Black Asian Allegiance, pays tribute to Malcolm X, Yuri Kochiyama and to Black Lives Matter. In 1987 in San Francisco, Jon Jang and saxophonist Francis Wong co-founded Asian Improv aRts where their mission statement is to support new directions in music by Asian Americans.
San Francisco, CA, USA
Photo by Bob Hsiang