Jon Jang

Public Participation Fellows Cohort 2019-20

For nearly four decades, a body of Jon Jang’s music works represents a chronology of Chinese American history in San Francisco such as Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 2 for the Kronos Quartet and a Cantonese opera singer. As the grandson and son of undocumented Chinese immigrants (“paper sons”), Jang’s music gives a voice to a history that has been silent. Co commissioned by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Jang composed The Chinese American Symphony, a work that pays tribute to the Chinese immigrant laborers who built the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

Jang will be collaborating with poet Paul Flores on a new work entitled, Never Again Now! This is a work that connects the history of Japanese American families and children who were “locked up” in US prison camps during WWII, with today’s “lock up” of Latino families and children at the south of the border.

Jang has toured with Max Roach and James Newton at major concert halls in North America, Europe, China and South Africa. Jang’s latest recording, The Pledge of Black Asian Allegiance pays tribute to Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama.

Jang has presented lectures such as The Sounds of Struggle: Music from the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s to the Asian American Movement of the 1980s and One Day American, One Day Alien: Black & Brown Artists Who Made the National Anthem Their Own at Columbia University, Hamilton College, Northeastern University, University of Maryland, UCLA and other academic institutions.