Burning Bridge: Biographies
Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) has created works ranging from jazz, “new” and world music. Recently he released the CDs Sing House and VOICE. Burning Bridge, his octet of Chinese and Western instruments, performed his composition Blood at the Vision Festival (NYC) and Edgefest (MI). Burning Bridge has also performed at the Magic Triangle (Mass.) and the International Festival Musique Actuelle (Canada). Sing House has performed at the University of Massachusetts, the Bohemian Caverns (D.C), the Vision Festival and Edgefest. In 2012, National Public Radio selected Burning Bridge as one of the year’s Top CDS and the Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted him “Rising Star for Violin.” In 2011 and 2012 the critics’ poll of El Intruso voted him #1 for Violin/Viola. He also released Symphony of Souls (Mulatta), performed by his string orchestra Spontaneous River, and Crossroads Unseen, the third CD of his quartet EDGE. In 2010, the NYC Jazz Record selected Commitment, The Complete Recordings, 1981-1983, from a collective quartet that was Mr. Hwang’s first band, as one of the “Reissued Recordings of the Year.” Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, U.S Embassy in Poland, American Music Center, Meet the Composer/New Residencies, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, New York Community Trust, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Greenwall Foundation, and Puffin Foundation. As violinist, Mr. Hwang has worked with Will Connell, Jr., Zen Matsuura, Butch Morris, Pauline Oliveros, Wadada Leo Smith, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Yoshiko Chuma, Sirone, Jerome Cooper, Vladamir Tarasov, Billy Bang, Dr. Makanda Ken MacIntyre and many others.
Taylor Ho Bynum has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation – through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. Bynum’s expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention on over twenty recordings as a bandleader and dozens more as a sideman. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe. taylorhobynum.com
Andrew Drury grew up near Seattle (USA) and works primarily in avant-jazz and free improvisation, with regular forays into other genres and media. He has performed in Europe and North America, made five CDs as a bandleader, and appeared on over 20 others. He is an acclaimed leader of percussion workshops. Drury performs as a soloist, collaborates with adventurous musicians from around the world, and leads several groups that play his compositions. In addition to groups that he leads and frequent encounters with improvisers from various parts of the world he plays regularly with Jason Kao Hwang, Jessica Lurie, Reuben Radding, the Rat Race Choir, the Steve Swell Trio, TOTEM>, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, and others.
Bassist/composer Ken Filiano performs throughout the world, playing and recording with leading artists in jazz, spontaneous improvisation, classical, world/ethnic, and interdisciplinary performance, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless inventiveness. Critics have called him a “creative virtuoso,” a “master of technique” … “a paradigm of that type of artist. . . who can play anything in any context and make it work, simply because he puts the music first and leaves peripheral considerations behind.” An integral member of numerous ensembles, Ken also composes for his own quartet, Quantum Entanglements, (with Michael Attias, Michael T.A. Thompson, and Tony Malaby). His extensive discography includes the solo bass CD, “subvenire” (NineWinds) and his Quantum Entanglements CD, “Dreams From a Clown Car” (Clean Feed). Ken is on the teaching roster at the New School in New York, and is a guest artist lecturer at School of Visual Arts and Hunter College (New York). He teaches master classes in bass and improvisation, and has a private bass studio in Brooklyn. (https://myspace.com/kenfiliano)
Joseph Daley is a contemporary music, jazz, and improvisation artist, who studied at the Manhattan School of Music attaining a bachelor’s in performance and a master’s in music education. He has received fellowships in music composition from the National Endowment of the Arts, MacDowell Colony, Music Omi, and the Geraldine R Dodge Foundation. Joseph Daley’s debut CD project, The Seven Deadly Sins, was released in 2011 and has received international critical acclaim. Featuring his Earth Tones Ensemble, a full Jazz orchestra, this powerfully innovative music mines the same rich vein of musical expression as that of immortals like Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and George Russell. His follow up project entitled The Seven Heavenly Virtues is orchestrated for string orchestra and percussion. It was supported by the New Music USA’S CAP recording program made possible by funds from the Mary Flager Charitable Trust. Both CD’s are available at CDBaby.com Joseph Daley has performed and recorded with the following illustrious artists: Muhal Richard Abrams, Bill Cole’s Untempered Ensemble, Far East Side Band, Sam Rivers, Ellery Eskelin, Charlie Haden, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Taj Mahal, Jayne Cortez, Howard Johnson’s Gravity, Dave Douglas, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Hazmat Modine and many others. (josephdaley.com)
Sun Li (pipa player) is a graduate of Shenyang Music Conservatory in Liao Ning Province of China. She was a member of the China National Song and Dance Ensemble in Beijing before coming to the US. Currently, Sun Li is a member of Music From China, a New York based chamber ensemble that performs a dual repertoire of traditional and contemporary Chinese music. Sun Li has performed with the ensemble in many famous concert halls through the US, such as Merkin Hall at Lincoln Center and Freer Gallery in Washington DC. The New York Times commented on her performances as “virtuosic and colorful.” (musicfromchina.org)
Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artist on more than 100 other releases. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from US Artists International in 2006 an MCAF (LMCC) award in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012. Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. The Downbeat Critics Poll selected him for the Trombone category in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.
Wang Guowei studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and was formerly concertmaster and erhu soloist of the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. He has served as Artistic Director of the NY-based ensemble Music From China since 1996. Also maintaining an active solo career, he has performed with the Virginia Symphony, Continuum, Amelia Piano Trio, DaCamera of Houston, Ethos Percussion Group, Ornette Coleman, Butch Morris, Kenny Garrett, Yo-Yo Ma, Present Music, the Shanghai, Ying, and Todd Reynold string quartets, Copland House, PRISM Quartet, 3rd Angle New Music Ensemble, Post Classical Ensemble, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Opera Boston, 2012 Spoleto Festival and Lincoln Center Festival, 2013 Luminato Festival, among others. Wang Guowei has taught erhu and Chinese music ensemble at Wesleyan University, New York University, and currently at Westminster Choir College at Rider University. He founded and conducts the 30-member Music From China Youth Orchestra. (musicfromchina.org)