Takara Sake and the Asian American Orchestra invites you to an intimate evening of Asian American Jazz and a glass of Takara Sake in the Tasting Room of Takara Sake USA on December 8, starting at 5:30p. Tickets for this event can be found here.
We are pleased to announce the Asian American Orchestra and Voices Of A Dream in collaboration with Dr. Angela Davis will premiere DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE Requiem for a King as the headlining musical event of the 2018 SF International Arts Festival (SFIAF) on May 26th at 8pm at Ft. Mason’s Cowell Theater. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE Requiem for a King is an inclusionary instrumental and vocal multi-movement jazz work scored for contemporary Western and traditional Asian instruments, featuring spoken word by Dr. Angela Davis, with solo and choral passages inspired by Spirituals, Freedom Songs, and contemporary vocal techniques. Visit http://www.sfiaf.org/ for more information.
This year’s festival's theme "Down by the Riverside" seeks to inspire a new generation of Americans to become engaged and active citizens. DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE Requiem for a King was inspired by Dr. King's most controversial speech, “Beyond Vietnam—A Time to Break Silence” at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4 1967—one year to the day before he was assassinated. In this speech, King declared a strong antiwar stance questioning our nation’s military role in Vietnam. This opposition to the war was deemed extremely unpatriotic; he was vilified in the media, and mainstream America and even fellow civil rights leaders turned against him.
Here is a link to MLK’s Riverside Church address, Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence:
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
Every February, Japanese American communities commemorate Day of Remembrance (DOR) to mark the anniversary of the internment of over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Signed by President Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 (EO9066) was executed by General DeWitt, Commander of the Presidio, SF seventy-five years ago and resulted in the forced removal and incarceration of innocent American citizens.
In 1998, the Asian American Orchestra was founded as a component of a federally funded national education program about the Japanese American internment experience. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, the Asian American Orchestra will perform GO FOR BROKE! A Tribute to Nisei Veterans featuring spoken word by Janice Mirikitani, and present Anthony Brown’s 1996 Rockefeller Foundation commissioned composition, E.O. 9066, commemorating the 50th anniversary of closing of the camps. Commissioned by the Zellerbach Foundation, the November 2017 premiere of GO FOR BROKE! on the Presidio and subsequent performance on Veterans Day there were presented to capacity audiences; the latter performance was attended by the Consul General of Japan who claimed, “The people in Japan need to hear this work.”
In celebration of Black History Month, the Asian American Orchestra and Voices Of A Dream ensemble (VOAD) will present a special preview of excerpts from DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE Requiem for a King. Commissioned by the Wattis Foundation and Inter Music SF (Friends of Chamber Music) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE is an inclusionary instrumental and vocal multi-movement jazz work scored for the Asian American Orchestra comprised of contemporary Western and traditional Asian instruments, and vocals. The premiere performance at the SF International Arts Festival on May 26th will feature recitation by Dr. Angela Davis, a collaboration of artists and activists united in the defense of civil liberties and justice.
The Asian American Orchestra is also excited to announce the release of their new CD, GO FOR BROKE! to coincide with this event, which includes an exhibition and reception commemorating two decades of achievements by the Grammy-nominated Asian American Orchestra.
The Asian American Orchestra featuring Janet Mirikitani will perform GO FOR BROKE - A Tribute to Nisei Veterans at 11am on November 11, 2017. Event starts at 10am.
The Asian American Orchestra will help the Presidio Officers’ Club put the “life” back into live music with a free evening performance that will be the world premiere of GO FOR BROKE! A Salute to Nisei Veterans. Dr. Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra are grateful to partner with the Presidio Trust and InterMusic SF to bring this music to the public for the first time. GO FOR BROKE! A Salute to Nisei Veterans is the Asian American Orchestra’s musical commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the 1942 signing of Executive Order 9066 (EO9066) that forced over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry into desolate internment camps until the end of World War II. Commissioned by the Zellerbach Family Foundation, GO FOR BROKE! honors the courageous Nisei (second-generation Japanese in America) soldiers who fought valiantly in WWII while their families remained imprisoned.
Ticket Information - SOLD OUT , please check out our Veterans Day event to hear this great tribute.
About Presidio Sessions
Music ranges from jazz to classical music from around the world, and are curated by San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music in partnership with the Presidio Trust. In the intimate atmosphere of a house concert, listeners can savor, lounge and learn as they wish. Guests move comfortably between Arguello, the destination restaurant and bar, and the performances in Moraga Hall, with opportunities to converse with performers and each other.
SF Music Day is a free, daylong music festival presenting 35 Bay Area ensembles in classical music, early music, contemporary music and jazz. The festival celebrates ten years this fall and showcases the diversity and range of the Bay Area music community, from familiar repertoire to innovative new sounds.
Read the San Francisco Chronicle article: Revamped jazz protest piece ‘We Insist! Freedom Now Suite’ to play Herbst
Where: War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
When: Sunday, September 24, 2017, 12:00pm – 7:30pm
Our performance of Freedom Now Suite 2017 takes place at 6PM in the Herbst Theater.
Tickets: Admission is free; no tickets or reservations are required.
Information: For information visit www.intermusicsf.org , or call (415) 967-3326.
Devorah Major & Destiny Muhammad
Major served as San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate (2002-2006). In addition to her four poetry books she has four poetry chapbooks, two novels, two biographies for young adults, and a host of short stories, essays, and individual poems published. In November 2016, City Lights Publishing will release her fifth volume of poetry. Devorah Major performs nationally and internationally, with and without musicians.
Destiny Muhammad is a recording/performing artist, band leader, composer and producer. Her genre "Celtic to Coltrane" is cool and eclectic with a feel of jazz and storytelling to round out the sonic experience.
Genny Lim w/ Anthony Brown & the Asian American Orchestra
Genny Lim is a noted poet performer who’s collaborated with the late Max Roach and bassist, Herbie Lewis. Lim has performed at numerous jazz festivals and venues coast to coast, including the SFJAZZ Poetry Festival and World Poetry Festivals in Venezuela, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Italy. Her poetry and vocals can be heard on Asian ImprovArts recordings with Francis Wong, Devotee and Child of Peace and on Jon Jang’s Immigrant Suite. She is the author of the award-winning play, Paper Angels, Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, as well as several poetry collections, including Paper Gods and Rebels. Lim is the second SFJAZZ Poet Laureate.
Anthony Brown is a composer, percussionist, ethnomusicologist, Guggenheim fellow, Smithsonian Associate Scholar, and Artistic Director of the GRAMMY nominated Asian American Orchestra and the nonprofit organization, Fifth Stream Music. He has composed music for critically acclaimed, award winning film documentaries, theater productions, dance companies and musical ensembles internationally, and has collaborated with Max Roach, Cecil Taylor, Zakir Hussain, Steve Lacy, Anthony Davis and the San Francisco Symphony. Dr. Brown has served as Curator of American Musical Culture and Director of the Jazz Oral History Program at the Smithsonian Institution, and as a Visiting Professor of Music at UC Berkeley.
Listen to a live recording of Freedom Now Suite on KCSM-FM's "In The Moment" program on February 23, 2017: Soundcloud
Dr. Anthony Brown’s GRAMMY-nominated Asian American Orchestra together with Genny Lim, Amikaeyla Gaston and Ojala Bata ensemble re-imagine We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, the first overtly political jazz album featuring poetry and songs advocating for equality and justice, to share its timeless message.