Letter to Jon Jang, pianist composer historian, possibly Palo Altan (diasporic)

not by konitz I mean but i left “knit” because it was once a venue in ny.

Jon, excuse me if I have this wrong but i mentioned you on my blog Plastic Alto in a long list of Palo alto jazz musicians. Did you go to school here?
Are you old enough to have heard Thelonious Monk at Palo Alto High in 1968, produced by sophomore Danny Scher who went on to work for Bill Graham for many years?

did you hear they changed name of Jordan School to Greene School (I suggested Stanley Jordan School) and Terman became Fletcher. If you went to Wilbur School it became JLS or Jane Stanford School a while back.
I went to Terman and Gunn. I’m 54. I produce jazz concerts, a bit of artist management and write a blog. I did some shows at Cubberley.

excuse me if this is way off. I wrote about Fred Ho in same article, although he was only born here.
mark weiss
plastic alto blog (its an ornette reference)
i hope to learn more of your work.
do you know Connie Young Yu? the author? her daughters were at my school. son, too, i guess. Jessica Yu.

edit to add: yeah i don’t really know jon jang music that well but something in my gut says I should, and I found this lickety-split but only two minutes worth that maybe Kevin Chen of Intersections at least booked him into if not commissioned a new work, about 1913 exclusion (racist) legislation here, and the Japanese first gen peoples, Oyama Canon D which reminds me of a lady I met who manages musicians in Berkeley with a similar name:

andand but not anand: also just yesterday i was wondering around inside City Hall, 250 Hamilton and told at least 3 people, Jim Keene’s assistant I think Judy Ng or Julie Ng and then Phyllis Davis and Robin Ellner (she of pegasus tattoo on her left cleavage exposed flesh, for starters — both longtime public servants thank you!!) about my idea I told Jim about, about six years ago, and he took a note, that when people call city hall, like 329-2413 or something — non-emergency – -they could hear a elevator or ringback music of Lee Konitz “Palo Alto” although it is not a very discernible hook — I told Robin and Phyllis that it took about 3 minutes to hear the hook — so maybe we’d have someone re-record the melody or head and have it simplified or exaggerated so that it became like a contrafact or a deriviative work. I ran this by at least in weird email or website box form Leah Garchik’s son the trombone player, that bassist guy who went to Stanford and then met him later at the Jazz Camp and Workshop and maybe a couple others. I’m suggesting that beyond the bother of making the phone system play this for “hold music” that we might as well record or compose our own version of “Palo Alto”. Maybe for PALO ALTO Day, in 2019 celebrating 125 years of incorporation and Judy Kleinberg or same year, 201 which is 250 years since 1769 and Portola from Spain and San Diego looking out on horseback for Monterrey Bay and finding a big tree instead. I think I also thank or thunk recently in the shower or rising that we should stop at 125/250 and change name to Oak Creek or O K Creek, something less phallic than Big Tree.

music music music more music

edit toa ddle: david rubien in the chron outed jj as pa:

Raised in Palo Alto along with two siblings by a single mother after his father died in a plane collision above the Grand Canyon in 1956, Jang always had an altruistic-activist bent, which he began integrating into his music after graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1978. Along with musicians like Fred Ho, Francis Wong and Glenn Horiuchi, Jang helped popularize the Asian American jazz movement, which combined Asian musical strains and instruments with jazz and was modeled in part on the ’60s civil rights activism of jazz artists like Roach, Charles Mingus and Archie Shepp.

Jang has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Cal Performances and the Kronos Quartet, among others, and in 1994 he traveled to China on a fellowship to study the Beijing Opera.

Jang’s political approach is reflected in album titles like “Never Give Up!,” “Self Defense!” and “Tiananmen!,” while others like “Two Flowers on a Stem” and “River of Life” evince a more contemplative side. Though absorbing Chinese sounds is his business, his language is definitely jazz, and his work with cutting-edge artists like flutist James Newton, saxophonist David Murray, not to mention Roach, is evidence. As a composer, his main models are Mingus and Duke Ellington, and you can hear their influence in the broad pastels of “Paper Son, Paper Songs.”

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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