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postheadericon Oyama Canon in D - October 3, 2014

To commemorate the centennial anniversary of the (California) Alien Land Law of 1913, Jon Jang has been commissioned to compose Oyama Canon in D, a multi movement work that pays tribute to the Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants of America) contribution to agricultural development in California, as well as their 40 year struggle to resist racist “alien land laws” which denied their family the right to own land.

On Friday evening October 3, 2014 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the world premiere of Jon Jang’s new work, Oyama Canon in D, will be performed by a music ensemble led by Jon Jang, piano/narrator with Francis Wong, soprano saxophone; Jim Norton, bass clarinet; Karl Alfonso Evangelista, electric guitar; Gary Brown, electric bass; and Deszon X. Claiborne, multiple percussion

Last Updated (Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:50)


postheadericon Toisan Railway - August 16 2014

Toisan Railway, a new music work by Jon Jang, pays tribute to the landmark achievement of Chin Gee Hee, an entrepreneur who built the first railroad in Toisan, China in 1920, despite the many obstacles stacked up against him.  Toisan Railway also honors the Toisanese, the majority of Chinese immigrants from Guangdong Province, who built the first transcontinental railroad in United States and supported the making of the Sunning (Toisan) Railway in China through their labor and financial support.

Toisan Railway adds to Jon Jang’s body of works that pays homage to the Chinese laborers who built the railroads in United States and China. Past works include Chinese American Symphony; Portrait of Sun Yat-sen and Central Pacific, Central Subway. The 30 minute work, Toisan Railway features a chamber music ensemble led by Jon Jang on piano with Francis Wong, tenor saxophone; Jim Norton, soprano saxophone; John Worley, trumpet; Cathleen Torres, French horn; Gary Brown, double bass and Deszon X. Claiborne, multiple percussion. A guest narrator TBA will also perform.

The world premiere of Toisan Railway will be performed at the Chinatown Music Festival on Saturday afternoon August 16, 2014 @ Portsmouth Square across from the pyramid shaped skyscraper Transamerica Building









(San Francisco, CA, March 21, 2013) – SFJAZZ today announced the world premiere of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars performance of Jon Jang’s “Keystone 1973” a 20-minute, four-movement work dedicated to the pivotal history of Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner on Saturday, March 30 at 2:00pm, in the SFJAZZ Center’s Joe Henderson Lab. The Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars will share the bill as they perform the music of the awardwinning SFJAZZ Collective. Trumpeter Avishai Cohen, a current member of the SFJAZZ Collective, will perform with both groups.

During the 1970’s, when jazz clubs across the country were folding under the onslaught of rock and roll and disco, San Francisco’s Keystone Korner was an oasis for jazz musicians and patrons. Tucked next to a police station in the city’s North Beach area, the Keystone became known as one of the most important jazz spots in the United States.

“One month after the beginning of Watergate, one of the worse political scandals in US history, and my graduation from Cubberley High School in Palo Alto in 1972, Todd Barkan opened Keystone Korner which marked the beginning of my jazz baptism.”

A San Francisco native, pianist and composer Jon Jang has toured at major concert halls and music festivals around the world. He has been a consistent presence in the Bay Area as a California Arts Council Artist in Residence 1990-1993, Meet The Composer New Resident 2000-2003 and founder and director of his resident company Jon Jang Performances. “Keystone 1973” was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Program.In addition to its award-winning orchestra, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars also presents a 6-piece Combo, directed by renowned saxophonist and educator Dann Zinn. Comprised of the "best of the best" Bay Area high school students, this small ensemble focuses on playing and writing original compositions and arrangements.
The Mondavi Center SFJAZZ High School All-Stars is a seven-person ensemble of the Sacramento region’s most talented high school musicians formed in 2011. 2Now in its second year, this program provides advanced training for serious jazz students through rehearsals, master classes with members of the SFJAZZ Collective, and regular performance opportunities.


postheadericon Asian Improv aRts 25th Anniversary Celebration Featuring Jon Jang and Unbound Chinatown

Awards Ceremony and Concert

Featuring: Jon Jang, composer/pianist, Jim Norton, woodwinds; Gary Brown, bass; Deszon X. Claiborne, multiple percussion; Min Xiao-Fen, pipa and vocals.

Special guests: Francis Wong, Tatsu Aoki, Wayne Wallace, Melecio Magdaluyo, and John Worley Jr.

Sunday, October 28

7pm - $18 adv / $20 at door

Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore Street  San Francisco, CA 94115

For more info contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ph: 415-908-3636

To purchase tickets click here.

Last Updated (Friday, 05 October 2012 09:15)


postheadericon Meditations on Integration: Jon Jang and Marcus Shelby


API Cultural Center & Asian Improv aRts present


Meditations on Integration:

Led by Marcus Shelby & Jon Jang

Celebrating African American & Chinese American history through music.



Saturday, May 14th, 8pm


African American Art & Culture Complex

762 Fulton Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


Admission: $15 advance online, $20 at the door



For more information: email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call (415) 908-3636,


San Francisco, CA - API Cultural Center & Asian Improv aRts proudly presentMeditations on Integration: Led by Marcus Shelby & Jon Jang on Saturday, May 14th, 8pm at the African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102,


The evening will celebrate African American & Chinese American history through music and will feature:

Marcus Shelby - bass

Jon Jang - piano

Howard Wiley - saxophone

Francis Wong - saxophone

Deszon Claiborne - drums


Jon Jang and Marcus Shelby celebrate African American & Chinese American history through music with Howard Wiley, Francis Wong, and Deszon Claiborne.  Jang and Shelby will be collaborating  for a concert for the first ever Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center concert at the African American Art and Culture Complex.  The concert touches on the deep connection between the Chinese and African American communities and offers a reminder of peace and progress in light of the recent events between the two communities.


Meditations on Integration is supported by Zellerbach Family Foundation, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, California Arts Council.


Photos by Peter Varshavsky, Bob Hsiang


About the Artists

Jon Jang by Francisco GarciaAs a pianist and artistic director of ensembles, Jon Jang has toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa (1994), Europe, Canada and the United States. At the same time Jang has been a consistent presence in the community here in the San Francisco Bay Area as a California Arts Council Artist in Residence 1990-1993, Meet The Composer New Resident 2000-2003 and founder and director of his resident company Jon Jang Performances.  With over ten recordings as a leader or collaborator, Jang has recorded with distinguished artists such as Max Roach, Maxine Hong Kingston, James Newton, David Murray, Zhang Yan and Jiebing Chen. As a composer, Jang has received commissions from the Sacramento Philharmonic and Oakland East Bay Symphony (Chinese American Symphony), the National Endowment for the Arts, The Library of Congress, Kronos Quartet, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chanticleer, Brava! for Women in the Arts, Kulintang Arts and others. www.jonjang.comphoto by Francisco Garcia


Marcus Anthony Shelby is an accomplished teacher, composer, arranger, and bassist who currently lives in San Francisco, California. Over the past 20 years, he has built a diverse biography. From 1990-1996, Shelby was bandleader of Columbia Records and GRP Impulse! Recording Artists Black/Note and is currently the Artistic Director and leader of The Marcus Shelby Orchestra, The Marcus Shelby Hot 7, and the The Marcus Shelby Trio. Shelby was awarded a 2009 Black Metropolis Research Consortium Fellowship in Chicago for summer 2009 to conduct research for his commission to compose "Soul of the Movement". Shelby was also a 2006 Fellow in the Resident Dialogues Program of the Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford University to conduct research for his commission to compose "Harriet Tubman". Shelby also has had the honor of arranging for and conducting the Count Basie Orchestra featuring Ledisi, performing with Tom Waits, and receiving the City Flight Magazine 2005 award as one of the "Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area". As the 1991 winner of the Charles Mingus Scholarship, Shelby's studies include work under the tutelage of composer James Newton and legendary bassist Charlie Haden.


Howard Wiley

Francis Wong

About API Cultural Center

API Cultural Center (APICC) supports and nurtures the artistic endeavors of the San Francisco Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander community. Through collaboration, sponsorship, producing and presenting, APICC supports the development and growth of multidisciplinary art. We empower the diverse voices of our community to reflect their unique experiences as Asian Pacific Islanders living in

About Asian Improv aRts

Asian Improv aRts' (AIR) mission is to produce, present and document artistic works that represent the Asian American experience. With a unique and active network of professional and emerging musicians and artists, community organizations, and activists, AIR has consistently produced or facilitated cultural events of the highest quality that have brought international attention to the Asian American arts movement in the Chicago and San Francisco Bay Areas. In addition, AIR provides critical technical assistance, advocacy, production support, mentorship and networking to artists and arts organizations through its Community Arts Development Program and the California Asian and Pacific Islander Arts Network.

Asian Improv aRts
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 2310
San Francisco, CA  94104
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