Open letter to Jon Jang and the Asian American Music Festival
What a joy to see you Jon, elder master musician, with these fine young bloods, like pianist Gary Fukushima and a second generation Asian American musician, Miles Senzaki. Our music has traveled a long and expansive road since this ol’ troubador went on the road in the 70s.
I only saw the one program you played of the 3-day Asian American Music Festival, but I was fully satisfied…and inspired. You told us you didn’t sing, but you sure made that piano sing for you…so moving, so powerful, so full of our history and musical lineage, including Monk and Ellington…even Rodgers and Hammerstein.
I loved when you sat in the audience and listened to the young Pan Asian Arkestra play your orchestral suite, weaving in their own improvisations. And the sisters on taiko and saxophone. Yes! We’ve come a long way baby.
And thank you, Jon, for thinking that we should collaborate some day. The next morning I actually woke up hearing the music. Yes….someday, insha’Allah, we may. So to you, Jon and all the beautiful music makers of the festival, and Jake Shimabukuro, our shooting star…deep thanks. I’m proud of you all and my soul is full.
Keep the music flowing!