CMC Sessions: Inspiration & Influences with Jon Jang

April 27, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

CMC Sessions: Inspiration & Influences

Spark your musical imagination with CMC faculty as they delve into stories about the inspiration and influences that have guided them as professional musicians and teachers at CMC. CMC Sessions: Inspiration & Influences is an eight-part on-line series hosted by CMC Cultural Traditions and Winds/Brass Departments, providing up-close and personal stories about the potent influences and galvanizing experiences that make up the “musical life.” Told through compelling demonstrations, musical examples, and creative tips, the sessions will provide participants with inspiration on their musical journeys.

Meet these talented faculty members:


Jon Jang, Leading Tones: Becoming a Changemaker

Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 7pm (PT)
Online via Zoom

Join Jon Jang in sharing his journey in becoming a changemaker. Leading Tones, tells the stories that make up Jon Jang’s lifelong pursuit of racial equity and social justice through his chosen “instrument” of musical expression. Influenced profoundly by the revolutionary politics of the Black Arts Movement and the nascent Asian-American Consciousness Movements of the 60s and 70s, Jang has integrated artistic creativity and community organizing in order to advance messages of resistance and healing in the face of complex challenges of our society from the Reagan/Bush eras to today. Using musical examples, historical narrative, and personal reflection, Leading Tones will provide attendees with a sense of Jon Jang’s shared value and practices. Jang may give a short performance to ground the presentation in how he has engaged with “the work” of change-making.

This event will be conducted online via video conferencing. REGISTER HERE to receive the link to join, emailed prior to the start of the discussion.

About the Artist:

For four decades, the trajectory of composer-pianist Jon Jang’s work mirrors the development of a multiracial democratic New American Majority from his unique perspective. Inspired by the music from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, Jang has collaborated with Max Roach in their work SenseUs (1990). “Eleanor Bumpurs” (1993) and “Can’t Stop Cryin’ for America: Black Lives Matter!” (2017) represent Jang’s works in response to the legal lynching of Black Americans. Jang’s Reparations Now! Concerto for Large Ensemble and Taiko (1987) pays tribute to the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations and shouts out a clarion call for reparations for Black Americans.

Jang also explores Chinese American transnational history in works such as The Chinese American Symphony (2007), a work that pays tribute to the Chinese immigrant laborers who built the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. Jang, a grandson of a paper son, composed “Island: The Immigrant Suite No. 2” for the Kronos Quartet about the Chinese immigrants who were incarcerated on Angel Island in San Francisco during the Chinese Exclusion Act era.

Jang has toured with Max Roach, James Newton, David Murray, Jiebing Chen and Min Xiao-Fen in Europe, China, South Africa, Canada and the United States.

People who are interested in this workshop can dive deeper by exploring private lessons and group classes and ensembles.