Jazz98.5FM WSAX-LP Jazz Styles Asian American Jazz
Asian American jazz is a musical movement in the United States begun in the 20th century by Asian American jazz musicians.
Although Asian Americans had been performing jazz music almost since
that music's inception, it was not until the late 20th century when a
distinctly Asian American brand of jazz began to develop. In the 1970s
and early 1980s, West Coast musicians such as Gerald Oshita, Glenn Horiuchi, Anthony Brown, Jon Jang, Mark Izu, and Russel Baba, as well as New Yorkers like Fred Ho and Jason Kao Hwang,
began to create a hybrid music that was reflective of their ancestral
heritages and experiences as Asian Americans, but which was at the same
time also rooted in jazz, a music of African American origin. Most of the first musicians associated with the movement were of Japanese or Chinese ancestry, though more recently musicians of Philippine, Vietnamese, Indian, and Iranian descent have also become active.
Often, Asian American jazz combines standard jazz instruments with Asian instruments (such as taiko, shamisen, erhu, suona, or kulintang),
which are often performed by musicians from Asia. Also, they may play
jazz instruments in a manner imitative of Asian instruments. Many Asian
American jazz ensembles also include musicians who are not of Asian
Of particular significance to the development and promotion of the
movement are the San Francisco Asian American Jazz Festival (1981-2006)
and the Asian Improv record label, as well as the Chicago Asian American
Jazz Festival begun by Chicago musician Tatsu Aoki.
One of the first and most prominent Asian American jazz bands is the Japanese American fusion jazz band Hiroshima, which was formed in 1974. In 2000, Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance for their recording of Ellington-Strayhorn's Far East Suite.
Note: Descriptions and definitions provided on this page are taken from
various sources as noted that can be found on the Internet. Jazz 98.5 does not
assume responsibility for the accuracy of any information provided.