Première of The Chinese Immigration Suite commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society‘s New Note program.

New Note is a project designed to support and promote the talents of young emerging jazz composers by providing commissions for new works which will be premiered at local jazz venues. This project adds another component in the organization’s mission to help preserve the future of jazz by identifying and nurturing young jazz musicians of tomorrow. More info at https://lajazz.org/programs/new-note/

The Chinese Immigration Suite is a 4-part suite inspired by the harsh history of Chinese Immigrantion to Los Angeles. Being of Chinese heritage myself from Canada, I found it necessary to research and understand the struggle my ancestors experienced in a new land.

Part I – “The First Settlers” – Is inspired by Ah Luce and Ah Fou who were the first Chinese American immigrants in LA (1850)

Part II – “The Transcontinental Railroad (1865-69)” – tells the story of 20,000 Chinese laborers who worked tirelessly on the first Transcontinental Railroad. Many of these melodies were inspired by traditional folk songs passed down through generations.

Part III – “The Chinese Massacre of 1871” – was a race riot that occured on Oct 24, 1871 in Los Angeles when a mob of 500 white and hispanic persons robbed and murdered Chinese residents on Calle de Los Negros. Due to this event, 20 Chinese immigrants were lynched that day making it the biggest mass lynching in American history.

Part IV – “Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act / Calling the Ancestors” – The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred immigrants from entering the US and receiving citizenship. This act wasn’t repealed until 1943. Calling the ancestors is my own tribute to those we’ve lost, those who’ve fought and for those who are continuing to fight for our rights to live peacefully today.

Personnel

Anthony Fungdrums/composer
Dan Rosenboomtrumpet
Braxton Cookalto sax
John Escreetpiano/synth
Luca Alemannobass
Megan Shunviolin
Elizabeth Babaviola
Marza Wilkscello

“As an artist, I’m constantly trying to create a product that is honest and true to my vision. As far as creating, I’d like to think of myself as a composer and orchestrator; not only in the writing process but also while playing the drums.”

Anthony Fung
Anthony Fung

Anthony Fung

Originally from Toronto, Canada, drummer, composer, producer and bandleader Anthony Fung is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Anthony is an alumnus of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, where he studied and performed with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chris Potter, Billy Childs, and many others. Previously, Anthony also studied at the Berklee College of Music/Global Jazz Institute under the tutelage of Danilo Pérez.

Having performed at festivals worldwide, Anthony has appeared alongside John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, and Miguel Zenón, among others. As a bandleader, Anthony released his debut album, Chronicles in 2014 and released his second, Flashpoint in fall 2018. Aside from leading his own group, he currently performs and tours regularly with David Binney & Alicia Olatuja.

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