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About the event

What racial, gender, and class boundaries does a composer and theatre artist cross in order to create revolutionary music (or music theatre) for a populist audience? How did Brooklyn, New York become a vibrant scene for “popular avant-gardist” jazz? Is there such a thing as “Asian American jazz”? Why did Fred Ho, one of the founders of the Asian American jazz movement in the 1970s, later denunciate “Asian American jazz”?  Addressing these questions, this recital-lecture event features a 40-minute performance by jazz piano duo “Shero Machine” (with distinguished guest, renowned trombonist David Taylor), and three short talks by theatre and performance scholar Sissi Liu, ASCAP’s inaugurate Fred Ho Award recipient Marie Incontrera, and jazz scholar Professor Jeffrey Taylor

An acclaimed Asian American activist and revolutionary jazz composer and theatre artist, Fred Ho (1957-2014) has endeavored to develop a new “Afro-Asian” musical form, to challenge the politics of music production, and to create music theatre performances that transform society in the interest of social justice.  His life’s work was recognized by six Rockefeller fellowships; two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships; three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships; an American Book Award; the Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.  In his honor, ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) established the Fred Ho Award in 2016.

This event is co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance, the Ph.D.–D.M.A. Program in Music at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center.

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