Root Progressions explores the vibrant intersection of classical new music and experimental jazz. A co-production with the Angel City Jazz Festival, the program unites two realms, historically divided by genre labels, that have forever embodied challenging parallel crusades in experimentation, innovation, and freedom from established styles.
Gloria premieres six newly-commissioned works by Anthony Davis, Jon Jang, James Newton, Arturo O’Farrill, Linda May Han Oh, and Gernot Wolfgang, alternating with duo sets led by special guests Oh and Jang.
This program is a co-production with the Angel City Jazz Festival, and will feature solo sets by pianist Cheng, as well as duo sets led by composer/performers Linda May Han Oh and Jong Jang:
Gloria Cheng – solo piano
James Newton, Eight Calla Lilies
Gernot Wolfgang, Two Movements
Jon Jang, Ancestors & Sisters
Jong Jang – piano
Hitomi Oba -sax
Gloria Cheng – solo piano
Anthony Davis, Piano Heaven
Arturo O’Farrill, Mis Guerreros
Linda May Han Oh, Littoral Tales
Linda May Han Oh – bass
Fabian Almazan – piano
“An invaluable new-music advocate and a preferred collaborator of composers like Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen” [NYT], won Best Instrumental Soloist (without orchestra) Grammy for 2008 Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, Lutoslawski, 2nd nomination 2013 Edge of Light: Messiaen/Saariaho. LA area Emmy 2018 for MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano PBS SoCal. Garlands for Steven Stucky CD works by 32 friends/former students—proceeds to LA Phil Stucky Composer Fellowship Fund. LAPhil soloist under Mehta, Boulez, Salonen, Knussen. Recitalist at Ojai Festival, Chicago Humanities, William Kapell, Tanglewood Fest of Contemporary Music, Piano Spheres (founding member). Countless premieres including John Williams Prelude and Scherzo, Salonen Dichotomie, Adams Hallelujah Junction. Duo-recitals with Thomas Adès and Terry Riley. B.A. Economics Stanford, Woolley Scholarship for Paris study, grad degrees UCLA, USC
Based in New York City, GRAMMY award-winning Linda May Han Oh is a bassist/composer who has performed and recorded with artists such as Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen and Vijay Iyer.
Originally born in Malaysia and raised in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, she has received many awards including a 2022 Deutscher Jazz Preis, 2nd place at the BASS2010 Competition, a semi-finalist at the BMW Bass competition and an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition. She was voted the 2018-2021 Bassist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association, as well 2022 Bassist of the Year in Jazztimes. Linda also was voted 2019 Bassist of the Year in Hothouse Magazine and was the 2020 recipient APRA award for Best New Jazz Work. In 2023 she received the prestigious Herb Albert Award for music.
During the past four decades, pianist/composer/bandleader/activist/thought leader Jon Jang has created his own unique multimusicverse that features four music universes: 1. Hybridization of Chinese diasporic folk music tradition with the Black music tradition. 2. Composition in the western art tradition that commemorates and celebrates a transnational Chinese American history. 3.Composition and performance that memorializes Black victims of police violence. 4. Collaboration with Black, Latino and Asian spoken word artists that advances a multiracial democracy.
In 1999-2001, Jang produced a recording toured with the legendary multiple percussionist Max Roach and erhu performer in an ensemble called the Beijing Trio in Europe and United States a Jang’s ensembles have toured at major concert halls and music festivals in Europe, China, Canada, United States and in South Africa, four months after the election to end apartheid in 1994.
Commissioned by Cal Performances and the Walker Art Center, longtime collaborator James Newton and Jang composed a work that pays tribute to two great artists Paul Robeson and Mei Lanfang that featured Black musicians collaborating with Beijing Opera musicians from China.
In 1987, Francis Wong and Jang co-founded Asian Improv Records (AIR) which featured the debut recordings of Glenn Horiuchi, Vijay Iyer and Miya Masaoka. Jang’s CAGES: A Way to Interrogate History has been released on AIR in 2023 and features spoken word artist Paul S. Flores, Hitomi Oba, Nick DePinna and others.