Jon Jang's Pledge of Black/Asian Allegiance

Asian Improv aRts is proud to announce that renowned composer, pianist, and bandleader Jon Jang will premiere his newest work The Pledge of Black/Asian Allegiance at the 120 year old Buddhist Church of San Francisco (BCSF) on May 19, 2018 at 8 pm. Located in San Francisco’s historic Japantown neighborhood, BCSF’s address is 1881 Pine St. Tickets: $20 general $10 for BCSF members. For tickets visit:

Timed to celebrate the shared birthday of iconic social activists and community leaders Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm X, this concert affirms the solidarity that Yuri and Malcolm held between Asian and African American communities. A close friend of Malcolm's, Yuri was present at Malcolm's death in 1965, captured in a photo in Life Magazine. She continued on with her long career in the struggle eventually settling in the Bay Area. She passed away at 93 in 2014.

The performance will feature Jon's ensemble, the Jangtet with African American theater artist Dr. Amanda Kemp. The Jangtet features bassist Gary Brown, drummer Deszon Claiborne, saxophonist Hitomi Oba and trombonist Nick DePinna, along with Jon Jang.  The concert and commissioning of the work is supported in part by grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission Community Investments Program, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and San Francisco Grants For The Arts.

Asian Improv aRts is engaged in an online campaign to raise funds in support of the project.

About the artists

Jon Jang

For three decades, composer Jon Jang has created expansive works that give voice to the hidden history and struggles of Asian Americans and other communities of color in our society. These works include: Can’t Stop Cryin’ for America: Black Lives Matter!, Chinese American Symphony performed by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and Oakland East Bay Symphony; When Sorrow Turns to Joy – Songlines: The Spiritual Tributary of Paul Robeson and Mei Lanfang co-composed with James Newton, Tiananmen!, SenseUS! and the Beijing Trio in collaboration with Max Roach, Reparations Now! Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Taiko and Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 2 commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet.

Dr. Amanda Kemp

Dr. Amanda Kemp is a passionate advocate for racial justice and healing, and empowering cross-cultural dialogue on the issues. A survivor of the New York City foster care system, Dr. Kemp has been a lifelong poet-performer and advocate of racial justice and equality since her first anti-apartheid march in 1983.  In 2007 Dr. Kemp founded Theatre for Transformation, a performance method and theatre company whose mission is to create a world of forgiveness, abundance, and peace. She has authored several plays including "Emancipation Sweet," "Hoodwinked,"  "Show Me the Franklins! Remembering the Ancestors, Slavery and Benjamin Franklin” and “Sister Friend: Phillis Wheatley and Obour Tanner on Love, Freedom and the Divine.” In addition to creating dynamic interactive performances about the legacy of slavery, Dr. Kemp leads workshops and makes keynote presentations that blend, poetry, song, and stories from her life to inspire others to connect with their ancestors, forgive and create new possibilities.

Dr. Amanda Kemp (photo by Nic Gould)

May 19, 2018 at 8:00pm - 9:30pm
Buddhist Church of San Francisco
1881 Pine St
San Francisco, CA 94109
United States
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