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Fred Ho (1957-2014)

Jazzed Magazine • News • April 18, 2014

After a long battle with cancer, revolutionary baritone saxophonist Fred Ho passed away the morning of April 12th, 2014. Ho was a unique musician, composer, writer, producer, political activist and leader of several music ensembles. For two decades, he innovated a new American Multicultural Music embedded in the swingingest, most soulful and transgressive forms of African American music with the influences of Asia and the Pacific Rim.

Ho recorded more than fifteen albums as a leader and written several critically acclaimed operas, music/theater epics, cutting edge multimedia performance works, scores, oratorios and a martial arts ballet. He received numerous grants and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Apollo Theatre Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, NY State Council on the Arts, Chamber Music America and World Music Institute among others.

As a musical leader, Fred Ho founded the Afro Asian Music Ensemble in 1982 and Monkey Orchestra in 1990, co-founded the Brooklyn Sax Quartet with David Bindman in in 1997, Caliente! Circle Around the Sun (featuring Ho’s solo baritone saxophone with poets Magdalena Gomez and Raul Salinas), and the Green Monster Big Band.

A memorial concert to Fred Ho is being organized by Fred Ho’s last composition student, Marie Incontrera, and his baritone saxophone protege, Benjamin Barson, with the Eco-Music Big Band, which Ho founded. The concert will take place at Ginny’s Supper Club at Red Rooster on April 23rd at 7:30 and 9:30pm. A public funeral and concert is being organized for a later date.

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