Hear This

Hear ThisThe Oakland-San Francisco hub stands out for its embrace of both intra- and cross-cultural connections, a proactive stance toward self-determination, and an enduring belief that respect for tradition is about forging one's own path by using examples of the past rather than simply aping prior achievements. In its 19th year, the Asian American Jazz Festival is the premier showcase for glimpsing the latest explorations in the broadly defined “genre” of Asian-influenced jazz. The outstanding three-day program features global-minded pioneers Jon Jang, Francis Wong, Zakir Hussain, and Mark Izu, all of whom combine the jazz aesthetic with so-called ethnic song forms and instruments. The event additionally includes rare stateside appearances by Japanese hichi-riki master Suenobu Togi and noh drummer Okura Shonosuke. Plus, in a grand showing of openness to new directions, the festival presents award-winning DJ/turntablist QBert of the once-infamous (now defunct) Invisibl Skratch Piklz performing at the debut viewing of Wave Twisters, his animated hip hop film. — Sam Prestianni

View Comments