Chinatown Music Festival
San Francisco, CA, August 6, 2015) – The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco in association with Asian Improv aRts, API Cultural Center, Chinatown Community Development Center and Chinese Progressive Association present the 6th Annual Chinatown Music Festival, a day of free outdoor music and cultural exploration for its sixth consecutive year. This celebration will bring music and cultural exploration to Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square on Saturday, August 15th from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Those who attend can expect a fun day full of music, dance, crafts, games, and cultural diversity in one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods.
As with every Chinatown Music Festival, this year’s event also seeks to raise awareness about ongoing issues affecting our community. This year, the festival features The Jon Jang Warriors as they explore the high incidence of violence against ethnic minorities across America.
The festival is free to the public and will feature fun, diverse musical performances including swing, jazz, soul, rock, and guzheng. The event will also feature line, swing, and Mongolian dance. This multi-cultural festival creates a deeper understanding of Chinatown’s role in a multi-cultural society, and enhances Chinatown’s economic and cultural vibrancy – all while furthering CCC’s mission to spark intercultural discovery.
The variety of performances and artistic styles reflects this year’s CCC theme of “Keep Exploring”. The 2015 Chinatown Music Festival will be a great opportunity for both Chinatown residents and visitors to explore different genres of music, dance, and culture; to honor tradition and celebrate new cutting edge artists as well.
The Chinatown Music Festival features The Jon Jang Warriors, whose music expresses Chinatown’s unity with the struggles of all people in American for equality and dignity. In particular, the ensemble will present a new work Can’t Stop Cryin’ for America, a commentary on America’s latest struggles with race, and in support of #blacklivesmatter. The Jon Jang Warriors, under the direction of internationally celebrated pianist/composer Jon Jang, performs original works that give voice to the untold stories of the Chinese American experience, and how this experience intersects with the historic disenfranchisement of communities of color, expressed in a compelling mixture of cultural influences and sounds. Jang, who has performed and recorded with the leading musicians of our time, including legends such as James Newton, David Murray, and the late great Max Roach, has toured major jazz festivals and concert halls around the world and is the recipient of awards and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. His presentation at the 2015 Chinatown Music Festival will be a spectacle not to be missed.
A new and exciting performance group: Yea-Ming and the Rumours. This rising bay area pop group rose from the ashes of a previous rock-pop group called Dreamdate, and Yea-Ming Chen has expanded on the pop confection pioneered in Dreamdate, now with emphasis on her interesting voice and melodies. Anna Hillburg plays jaunting country bass lines in groove with Sonia Hayden’s spirited drumming to lay down the backbone for the group’s unique catchy tunes. With an album due for release this year, the Rumours are a spectacular group that you won’t want to miss!
Another new performance comes from The Klipptones. A bay area favorite, The Klipptones perform multiple soundscapes ranging from instrumental jazz to rocking the dance floor.
Past favorites of the Chinatown Music Festival are playing as well, including the San Francisco Guzheng Music Society, and Jest Jammin’.
The San Francisco Gu-Zheng Music Society was founded in 1982 to promote and share the rich Chinese heritage through traditional, classical, folk, and contemporary music. The organization’s goal is to introduce the music of guzheng, which is an ancient Chinese stringed instrument, in addition to promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of traditional Chinese music and culture.
Lastly, Jest Jammin’ will be a returning performer in our lineup this year. Jest Jammin’ has been entertaining the public for over 40 years and are the last of the “local Chinatown bands” from the 60s and 70s. Don’t miss this amazing performance full of “home grown” talent and music from both the soulful 60’s – 70’s and the recent decades.
The CCC would like to recognize the California Arts Council, the San Francisco Foundation, Grants for the Arts, Wells Fargo, Recology, SOMArts, Singtao Radio, Bay Area Metro Radio, and the San Francisco Central Police Station for their generous support in making this event possible.
About the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco
Founded in 1965, the Chinese Culture Foundation (known by its nickname, the Chinese Culture Center) is dedicated to intercultural discovery through art, education and engagement. As the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary, a continual dedication to innovation and connecting audiences to contemporary art that explores the intersection of culture and social justice. The Foundation seeks to challenge misconceptions about the Chinese community with a contemporary narrative and through the critical lens of contemporary art. This year’s theme, Keep Exploring, is aimed at bringing innovation to the forefront and to continue a bold vision for reimagining the immigrant character of the community.