Fred Ho Memorial Tribute Sunday SEPTEMBER 7, 2014

By rscc



Fred Ho Memorial Tribute Sunday SEPTEMBER 7, 2014 2:00–4:30pm @ Oakland Asian Cultural Center 388 9th St #290, Oakland, free admission

Co-sponsored by Freedom Archives, The Poetry Center and the Design Center for Global Needs at San Francisco State University, and Oakland Asian Cultural Center

On Sunday, September 7th an all-star assemblage of musicians, writers, and activists will gather in Oakland to honor Fred Ho — celebrated composer-bandleader, virtuoso baritone saxophonist, author of multiple books, and lifelong radical activist. A self-described “revolutionary matriarchal socialist and aspiring Luddite” (New York Times), Fred Ho for four decades was a fierce warrior against exploitation and oppression wherever they persisted, including in his very public battle with cancer.

Fred Ho’s family will be present, and footage from the documentary Fred Ho’s Last Year (Stephen de Castro, 2014) will be screened.

Featured performers will include:

The Afro Asian Music Ensemble Ben Barson
Davheed Behroozi
Winston Byrd

Royal Hartigan Mark Izu Masaru Koga Genny Lim

Hafez Modirzadeh Gwendolyn Mok
Ken Okada
John-Carlos Perea
Rova Saxophone Quartet Akira Tana

Marty Wehner Francis Wong Brenda Wong Aoki

With speaker/emcees: Diane Fujino, Matef Harmachis, and Tony Marks-Block.

“Fred Ho writes, speaks, and plays in order to persuade and inspire, to expose the crimes of the ruling class, and to challenge the status quo so that we imagine a different future.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, historian and biographer of Thelonious Monk

Fred Ho biography (born Fred Wei-han Houn, August 10, 1957, Palo Alto, CA; died

April 12, 2014, Brooklyn, NY). One of the outstanding composers of his generation, New York-based Chinese-American saxophonist and cultural activist Fred Ho founded the Afro-Asian Music Ensemble (1982), the Asian-American Art Ensemble (1981-88), and the Monkey Orchestra (1990), all of them fusing Western and Eastern instruments and influenced by Afro-American traditions, especially inspired by Charles Mingus’s orchestras. Later ensembles included The Green Monster Big Band, The Saxophone Liberation Front, and Brooklyn Sax Quartet (cofounded with David Bindman). Among many honors, he was the first Asian American musician to be awarded the Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award.

The names of Fred Ho’s many recordings, from the 1980s forward, express the singular fusion of art and activism that became his insistent call: Tomorrow Is Now, Bamboo That Snaps Back, A Song for Manong, We Refuse To Be Used and Abused (all 1980s); The Underground Railroad To My Heart, Monkey Parts One and Two, Turn Pain Into Power; Yes Means Yes, No Means No, Whatever She Says, Wherever She Goes!; Warrior Sisters, the “vampire opera” Night Vision, and the 12-movement theatre piece with dancers and Kung Fu fighters Once Upon a Time In Chinese American (all 1990s); The Black Panther Suite; Red Arc: A Call for Liberation (with poet raúlrsalinas), Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon/Momma’s Song, Big Red, The Sweet Science Suite, Snake-Eaters, Celestial Green Monster, Year of the Tiger and The Music of Cal Massey: A Tribute (2000–2012).

In addition to his music, Fred Ho authored, co-authored, and edited many articles and books, the latter including Wicked Theory, Naked Practice: A Fred Ho Reader, Afro Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections Between African Americans and Asian Americans (with Bill Mullen), Diary of a Radical Cancer Warrior: Fighting Cancer and Capitalism at the Cellular Level, Raw Extreme Manifesto: Change Your Body, Change Your Mind, Change the World While Spending Almost Nothing; the anthologies Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/ Resistance/ Revolution (with Ron Sakolsky), and Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America (with Carolyn Antonio, Diane Fujino, and Steve Yip). He was the subject of the book-length study Yellow Power, Yellow Soul: The Radical Art of Fred Ho (ed. Roger N. Buckley and Tamara Roberts) and featured in Bill V. Mullen’s Afro Orientalism.

New York Times Obituary for Fred Ho, April 12, 2014: radical-activist-dies.html

The Guardian (UK) obituary for Fred Ho:

Fred Ho at Big Red Media, Inc. 

Contact: Claude Marks, Freedom Archives tel: 415-863-9977