The schedule for the April 18th program curated by Tatsu Aoki
Welcome and Introductions AIRMW Chicago Music Legacy by Tatsu
Greeting from Community Leaders
Rika Lin/ Tsukasa Taiko
Video Clip from Beyond the Box (Rika)
Korean Drumming = Byoung Sug Kim
Shunojo Fujima / Shubukai Dance
You are invited to comment in the Chat feed, contribute to the artists and HotHouse in the donation widgets and to contribute to future programs with your ideas and talents.
Asian Improv aRts: Midwest’s Mission
Asian Improv aRts: Midwest’s mission is to build a vital, self-empowered Asian American community in the Chicago area by advancing the understanding and profile of Asian and Asian American cultures through the traditional and contemporary cultural arts. Founded to give voice to the artistic contributions of Asian American artists by addressing the ongoing need for professional opportunities for Asian American artists to develop and present works that address their communities’ experiences.
In 1995, AIRMW was founded by prominent Chicago artist Tatsu Aoki to build a vital Asian American community through the cultural arts. In 1996, AIRMW initiated the critically-acclaimed Annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival (AAJF) presenting artistic works that represent the Asian American experience. In 2004, AIRMW initiated the Tsukasa Taiko (Japanese drumming) program, now one of the leading community taiko programs in the Midwest, offering instruction in shamisen (lute) and shinobue (flute). AIRMW initiated its Taiko Legacy series in 2004, a national and international effort to provide a more expansive look at classical Japanese art and how it informs modern performances. The successes of Taiko Legacy and the AAJF are increasing awareness of performances informed by traditional culture as viable options for larger venues, an awareness that is lacking for many exhibition organizers. They are also building awareness of the Asian American community. After years of collaborations, in 2014 Shubukai (then Fujima Ryu) officially joined the family of programs at AIRMW. Offering classical Japanese dance, Shubukai has gained recognition for its multiple new choreographed pieces, expanding the conceptual reach of traditional choreography through performances and participating in AIRMW’s educational programs. The educational programs are presented to around 30 schools and universities annually in the Chicagoland area providing an introduction to Japanese cultural arts. In parallel, AIRMW is building connections with other Asian American community performing groups to share the philosophy of the importance of Asian aesthetics and how they contribute to contemporary performance pieces. This includes producing performances by Asian American playwrights, puppeteers, visual artists, a theater group and other drumming groups.
ABOUT THE PROJECT HOTHOUSEGLOBAL
HotHouse is a 501c3 non-profit arts presenting organization formed in 1987 in Chicago. After 33 years presenting multi-arts programs in our two cultural centers and in partner venues around the Chicago region, the organization is taking the lead in an online streaming initiative to broadcast performing arts events where the artists “sell tickets” and earn proceeds. Additionally, small businesses and non-profits in the cultural sector will be invited to link their crowd sourcing campaigns to raise money for their displaced staff.
The main goal of this initiative is to build a world-wide network of cultural workers and social justice activists who will be able to curate and upload content from locations throughout the globe. While we are in a current health crisis, we are also in a crisis of leadership and societal organization, having been betrayed by the ongoing diversion of resources to non-productive and cynical sectors.
We have designed the HotHouseGlobal Twitch Channel to link to the event curators and allied small business or non-profit service providers revenue generating campaigns. 100% of donations will be directed to these recipients.
April 18 Performers
Curated by Tatsu Aoki
Mai Sugimoto is a saxophonist, composer, and active member of Chicago’s jazz and improvisational music scene. “A compelling performer” with “dry-champagne tone and lyrical lines” (Chicago Tribune), Sugimoto draws inspiration from her upbringing in Japan and her roots in jazz to compose and perform from her unique multicultural experience. Born/Raised, her debut album (Asian Improv Records, 2018), explores this cultural and musical binary, juxtaposing, among others, a jazz rendition of a Japanese children’s song alongside compositions inspired by the American jazz idiom. Sugimoto is also a core member of the quartet Hanami, whose two albums similarly mix Japanese culture into creative music. Mai has performed three times at the Chicago Jazz Festival: in 2015 with Hanami, in 2019 as a leader, and in 2018 with renowned bassist Tatsu Aoki, with whom she frequently plays, including appearances in his Fred Anderson Legacy Band.
RIKA LIN / SHUBUKAI & TSUKASA TAIKO
Shubukai / Japanese Classical Dance
Shubukai (previously Fujima Ryu of Chicago) , a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest) is a Japanese Classical Dance group teaching Fujima style, and one of the oldest organized groups for Japanese cultural art here in Chicago. Founded by Grandmaster Shunojo Fujima, the dance troupe has maintained a consistent presence in the Japanese American community and throughout Chicago teaching classes and presenting performances. The annual student recital has been consistently presented every year since the group began for over the last 43 years. In addition to supporting various community and educational outreach events, Increasingly in the last decade, as one of the three core traditional programs in Asian Improv aRts Midwest, Shubukai has augmented its presence in the arts community collaborating with other traditional and contemporary artists, dancers, and musicians, creating neoclassical and contemporary works while maintaining their connection with Japan. In 2016, with the addition of their newest grandmaster, Fujima Yoshinojo (a.k.a Rika Lin), Shubukai is the only Japanese certified classical dance program in the Midwest with three Grandmasters, Shubukai has gained recognition for its multiple new choreographed pieces, expanding the conceptual reach of traditional choreography through performances and participating in AIRMW’s educational programs.
Tsukasa Taiko, a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest, one of the largest community taiko groups organized by professionals in the Midwest, offers taiko drum instruction, education, and performances. Its mission is to preserve, develop, and pass on the traditional concepts of genuine – Japanese art as a cultural legacy, and to utilize these authentic concepts in expanding and evolving the taiko art form. As a community group dedicated to understanding and strengthening New Japanese American, Asian American, and Japanese identity, it strives to respect tradition and develop artistic excellence and connoisseurship. Its director, teachers, and administrative staff are dedicated professionals, all recognized as world class, working artists. Tsukasa Taiko offers trainings, workshops, lectures, and demonstrations designed to teach how to play taiko, as well as to advance the understanding of how the cultural arts are a reflection of a community’s heritage
Composer, improviser, and sound artist, Jonathan Chen, creates work through either conceptual foci or through experimentation with materials. His work for electronics often consist of thick layers of fluctuating sounds produced through multiple feedback systems, and at other times a more simple approach such as his installation Amplified (2010), which only involves the light amplification of a person’s voice. As both an electronicist and violinist/violist his improvisational work emphasizes timbre rather than pitch, either drawing from a wide palette or honing in on a single sound.
Chen’s work has been performed or installed at The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis), Sonic Circuits International Festival of Electronic Music and Art (Boston & NYC), 2 Kolegas & D22 (Beijing), Goldsmiths College (London), Chicago Cultural Center, Labor Sonar (Berlin), Eyedrum (Atlanta), The Flea (NYC), and many others.
As an improviser he has recently appeared on Sky Landing: The Music of Yoko Ono by The Miyumi Project, an album produced by Yoko Ono, Robert W. Karr Jr. & Project 120 Chicago and released as a limited edition on the Asian Improv record label, and Light, a film by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki which won “Best Experimental Film” at the Canada International Film Festival.
Past performance credits also include Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Resonance FM (London), Malta Festival (Poznan, Poland), The Stone (NYC), Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (Chicago), The Smithsonian Institute, Sounds Like Now (NYC), Chicago Jazz Festival, The Metro (Chicago), Roulette (NYC), and many others.
Chen has a PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York; a Master of Arts in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. His work has been published by Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press), the Deep Listening Institute, Asian Improv Records, Interval, and Striking Mechanism, among others. He lives in New York City where he is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Communications Technology at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.
Composer Jon Jang became the first American born Chinese to compose a symphonic work that honors Chinese American history. Commissioned by the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra and Oakland East Bay Symphony, Jon Jang composed The Chinese American Symphony which pays tribute to the Chinese immigrant laborers who built the first transcontinental railroad in United States.
For nearly four decades, composer and pianist Jon Jang give a musical voice to a history that has been silent. A majority of his works represents a chronology of Chinese American history in San Francisco such as Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 2 for the Kronos Quartet.
Pianist/composer Jon Jang has collaborated and recorded with Max Roach, James Newton and David Murray. Jang’s ensembles have toured at major concert halls and music festivals in Europe, China, Canada, United States and South Africa, four months after the election to end apartheid in April 1994. Jang’s latest recording, The Pledge of Black Asian Allegiance, pays tribute to Malcolm X, Yuri Kochiyama and to Black Lives Matter. In 1987 in San Francisco, Jon Jang and saxophonist Francis Wong co-founded Asian Improv aRts where their mission statement is to support new directions in music by Asian Americans.
Jon Jang’s latest CD recording, The Pledge of Black Asian Allegiance, features Jon Jang as a musical polyglot and collaborative field builder. Composer improviser Jon Jang co-founded Asian Improv aRts in San Francisco with saxophonist Francis Wong in 1987.
Listen to it here: https://spoti.fi/2xDdRXV
Rami Atassi is an improviser, guitarist, and music producer whose work blends ambient, rock, jazz, and experimental music. His latest record “Atashi Wa Rami” is a series of improvised duets with bassist Tatsu Aoki.
AND TATSU & KIOTO AOKI