Magic Triangle Jazz Series: Jason Kao Hwang's "Burning Bridge"
April 30, 2015
Fine Arts Center Bezanson Recital Hall
UMass Amherst Campus
Jason Kao Hwang’s Burning Bridge, featuring cross-cultural jazz improvisations by an octet of Chinese and Western instruments, includes his quartet EDGE: Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Andrew Drury (drums) and Ken Filiano (bass), along with Joseph Daley (tuba), Sun Li (pipa), Steve Swell (trombone) and Wang Guowei (erhu).
“Violinist-composer Jason Kao Hwang has brought a vast array of sonic wonders to his latest genre-straddling work, Burning Bridge,” writes The Washington Post. “Hwang has his finger firmly on the racing pulse of the 21st century, where everything is interconnected and boundaries of time and geography seem hopelessly quaint. If there’s a war cry for music of the new millennium, it might well be: Burn the bridges – there’s no going back.”
He is a founding member of The Far East Side Band, an intercultural ensemble combining Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and American musical elements. He has composed the scores for numerous films and has also worked in the field of commercial music. Hwang was in the original cast of the Broadway production of M. Butterfly, performing music he co-arranged for that production; he later toured with the national productions as a music director.
“Burning Bridge is a monumental endeavor,” writes Glen Astarita, “foretelling that often unattainable synchronization within modern era avant-garde vistas where calamity, harmonious accord, and mind-altering improvisation seem to be in alignment with the heavens.”
Hwang has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Greenwall Foundation, the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust for his opera Immigrant of the Womb. His chamber opera The Floating Box: A Story in Chinatown premiered in 2001.
Hwang has recorded for the Axiom, Celluloid, Columbia, Enja, FMP, New World, Victo, Asian Improv and Innova labels.
“Burning one's bridges is typically seen as a break with the past,” writes Downbeat Magazine. “The flip side of the expression, though, is the necessity of moving forward. Violinist Jason Kao Hwang stands at the crossroads of his influences - classical, jazz and traditional Chinese music - and sets the divisions between them ablaze. The resulting palette is expansive, and Hwang explores its full range.”
Bezanson Recital Hall is located within the Fine Arts Center. https://fac.umass.edu/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=...