Jason Kao Hwang
Composer • Violinist • Educator
Jason Kao Hwang is a composer, violinist and educator, has created works ranging from jazz, classical, "new" and world music.
Asian Improv Records recently released EDGE, a CD of Mr. Hwang's new jazz quartet. His chamber opera, The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown (2005, New World Records), was named one of the top ten opera recordings of 2005 by Opera News.
Mr. Hwang's seminal ensemble (1990-2004), The Far East Side Band, featuring taiko, kayagum, tuba and his violin, released two CDs of his compositions, Urban Archaeology (1996, Victo Records) and Caverns (1994, New World Records). The Far East Side Band performed at the Beijing International Jazz Festival, Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival, Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum, Asia Society, Freer Gallery, Visions Festival, World Music Institute (NYC), Jazz Spektakel Wuppertal (Germany), Jazzgalerie Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen (Austria), duMaurier Ltd. International Jazz Festival (Vancouver), International Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville), and many other stages. Mr. Hwang also recorded with his trio, Unfolding Stone (1990, Sound Aspects) and quartet, Commitment (1981, Flying Panda). His scores commissioned by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, have premiered at the New Jersey Performing Art Center and Baruch College. His composition Flight of Whispers, commissioned and performed by Music for Homemade Instruments, can be heard on eXchange: China (1999, CRI), a compilation CD of Chinese American composers.
Mr. Hwang has received support from Meet the Composer, 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, Puffin Foundation, Margaret Fairbanks Jory Copying Assistance Program of the American Music Center, and the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions.
As violinist, Mr. Hwang has worked with Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Reggie Workman, Vladamir Tarasov, Tatsu Aoki, Frances Wong, William Parker, Sirone and Dr. Makanda Ken MacIntyre. He currently performs with William Hooker's The Gift and Pheeroan Aklaff's Malcheck Muzikum.
As an educator, Mr. Hwang has taught at many grade levels. He has taught Asian American Music, a course he originated for the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis of New York University. Mr. Hwang has lectured at Westminster College and Brooklyn College. During his Meet the Composer/ New Residency (1998-2000), his high school students at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas created a CD of music, oral histories and poems, which was featured on WNYC's Morning Edition. From 2002 through 2005, Mr. Hwang worked with Young Audiences/ New York, teaching elementary school students composition and improvised music. Mr. Hwang has also led teacher development workshops for both Young Audiences of New York and Midori and Friends.