Don't Call it Jazz presents Asian American/Pacific Islander Jazz Musicians
For this episode we'll be checking out some outstanding music from an eclectic group of brilliant AAPI musicians. We've been seeing a distressing rash of hatred and violence against our fellow AAPI citizens due to deeply ingrained ignorance fueled by evil opportunists. Much of this comes from deliberate and insidious misinformation surrounding the origins of the COVID-19 virus, but the history of racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans goes back generations in this country.
Similar to the USA, jazz also has a dark and shameful past of marginalizing Asian American talent, to its detriment of the culture, art, and progress.
Today we celebrate mostly contemporary AAPI artists who are making incredible cutting edge music, many of which will go on to define this era of creative jazz.
Much of the music you'll hear on today's show was inspired by the Downbeat article "For Asian-American Jazz Artists, Pandemic Uncovers Deep Wounds" written by the brilliant jazz journalist and pianist Gary Fukushima (whose music we'll also be checking out on the show!)
I pass off to him, a wonderful paragraph from his aforementioned article to summarize the perspective of an AAPI jazzer:
"The thread tying these artists together is tethered to a needle that pierces the heart of every Asian who was born in or immigrated to the States: the seemingly unsolvable paradox of belonging here and identifying with American culture, yet being seen as “the other” by neighbors."