2013 October

The Earfull Episode 5 – Fred Ho

In this episode, jazz baritone saxophonist, composer, bandleader, playwright, writer, and social activist, Fred Ho discusses growing up in an abusive family, using music as a radical, and coping with cancer. Listen on Itunes!


Fred Ho, born in Palo Alto in 1957 of Chinese descent, is perhaps best known for combining sometimes asynchronous tunes and melodies of various musical traditions, creating what many have described as both brilliant and chaotic sounds. He is the first to combine Chinese opera with traditional African American music. He leads the Afro Asian Music Ensemble (founded in 1982) and the Monkey Orchestra (founded in 1980). He currently lives in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York.

Ho holds a B.A. degree in sociology from Harvard University (1979). He has recorded for the Koch Jazz and Soul Note labels. Some of his most recent works include Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon, which premiered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 2006, Voice of the Dragon I, II, and III. As Ho is a prolific composer, writer, playwright, his list of works grows continually. Some of his first CDs include Monkey 1Monkey IIThe Underground Railroad to My Heart (Soul Note), We Refuse To Be Used And Abused, and Tomorrow is Now!

Fred Ho both written and co-edited many books including: Afro Asia: Revolutionary Politcal and Cultural Connections between African Americans and Asian AmericansLegacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America and Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/ Resistance/ Revolution.

Ho’s contributions to the Asian American empowerment movement as an activist are varied and many. He is credited with co-founding several Asian American civic groups such as the East Coast Asian Students Union while a student at Harvard, The Asian American Arts Alliance in New York City, The Asian American Resource Center in Boston, and the Asian Improv record label.

In his 2000 book, Legacy to Liberation, Ho, recapitulating an aesthetic vision first presented in 1985, writes:

“Revolutionary art must…inspire a spirit of defiance, or class and national pride to resist domination and backward ideology. Revolutionary art must energize and humanize; not pacify, confuse and desensitize…

“I am adamantly against one-dimensional, so called “correct” proscriptive forms that petty bourgeois critics try to label as “political art.” I’m also not in favor of the errors of socialist-realist art with its glorified “socialist heroes,” but favor imaginative critical realism, a sensuous rendering of the colorful material world. Art can fill us with love, with hope and with revolutionary vision.

“Ultimately society must be transformed through the organization of people for socialist revolution. Artists can contribute a critique of capitalist society. This is critical realism: to criticize appearances and obscured social relations. . . Artists play key roles in affecting consciousness and can help to transform the working class from a class-in-itself to a class-for-itself.”

On August 4, 2006, Ho was diagnosed with colon cancer. After chemotherapy, his health improved, but a second tumor was found on September 24, 2007. In 2009, he received the Harvard Arts Medal.

For more on Fred Ho visit his website, bigredmediainc.com


Fred Ho in his completely self-made apartment before our interview

Concert Poster for Fred Ho’s action-adventure fantasy “Warrior Sisters.” Fun Fact: I was in this show when I was 5!


Painting of Fred Ho in his apartment
Recordings featured in this episode in order of appearance:

Absolute Solo!” performed by Fred Ho [and the Afro Asian Jazz Ensemble] from the album Yes Means Yes, No Means No, Whatever She Wears, Wherever She goes! (Big Red Media, 1997)

TMEA Flute Solo #3,” composed by Anderson (No. 13 in Gb Major, Op. 21)

2012-2013 TMEA All-State Saxophone Solo Etude #2 Largo Lagrimoso

Mission Impossible TV Theme Song

Peking Opera

Jingo” by Santana from his debut self-titled album

Hatian Fight Song/II B.S.” by Charles Mingus

Volunteered Slavery” performed and composed by Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Door of the Cosmos” by Sun Ra Arkestra from the album “Sleeping Beauty”

Yes Means Yes, No Means No, Whatever She Wears, Wherever She goes! Suite (fuck patriarchy!” by Fred Ho and the Afro Asian Jazz Ensemble (Big Red Media, 1997)

Deadly She-Wolf Assassin at Armageddon!: Colonel Ulysses Sam Armageddon” by Fred Ho, Royal Hartigan, Masaru Koga, Wes Brown & Yumi Kurosawa from the 2011 album with the same name (as the song)

Arrival in India” by Fred Ho & The Monkey Orchestra from the album “Monkey, Pt. 2”

This episode of the Earfull was originally recorded on July 24th and released on October 16th, 2013. The cover art for the Earfull was made by Hallie Bean. I’d like to thank Fred Ho for sitting down with me and you for listening. For more information on Fred Ho visit his website, bigredmediainc.com. You can find the Earfull on the iTunes music storesoundcloud, and Facebook.

The Earfull Episode 4 – Christine Correa

In this episode, Indian vocalist and pianist Christine Correa discusses growing up in the Taj Hotel in Mumbai, working in the dark with Ran Blake, and helping her students discover themselves through music. Listen on iTunes.


Vocalist Christine Correa is a native of Mumbai, India currently residing in New York. After relocating to the U.S, she soon became involved in a variety of improvisational contexts. Christine has performed and recorded with artists such as Steve Lacy, Ran Blake, John LaPorta, etc. and has appeared at numerous festivals and clubs in the U.S, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. She is a member of the Frank Carlberg Quintet which is dedicated to performing Carlberg’s settings of 20th (and 21st) century poets such as Robert Creeley, Anselm Hollo, Jack Kerouac, etc. Christine is Director of the Maine Jazz Camp – a camp for high school and middle school students.IMG_0761

Christine sitting down for our interview in her home in Brooklyn, NY


with Ran Blake

ChristineCorrea 2684_1081839696700_1597003_n


 Frank Carlberg Quintet (Christine Correa, John O’Gallagher, John Hebert, Michael Sarin, and Frank Carlberg (her husband)): 03-07-09 Cornelia Street Cafe

Photos from her scrapbook:

Micky Correa, Christine’s father and bandleader:


IMG_0762 IMG_0763

Christine’s uncle playing in drums in her father’s band:


Micky Correa’s band at the Taj Mahal Hotel:IMG_0777IMG_0769IMG_0770IMG_0771

Program at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Independance Day in India:

IMG_0765 IMG_0766


Paul Desmond and Duke Brubeck in Bombay:


Duke Ellington in Bombay:
IMG_0774 IMG_0775

Picture with Christine’s mother (on the left of Duke Ellington):

IMG_0767IMG_0772 IMG_0773

Recordings in order of appearance:

Clips of Micky Correa’s Swing band (recordings to be posted soon)

Chopin Etude in a minor Op.25, No. 4“, composed by Frederick Chopin and performed by Dang Thai Son

Bhagyada Laxmi Baramma” by Bhimsen Joshi

Ek Raasta Hai Zindagi (Kaala Pattahar)” performed by Shashi Kapoor in the Bollywood film “Kaala Pattahar”

Laura” performed by Jeanne Lee and Ran Blake

September Songs” performed by Betty Carter

Brother Can You Spare a Dime” by Abbey Lincoln

Brother, Can you Spare a Dime” performed by Christine Correa and Ran Blake

“If Ever There Is” by the Frank Carlberg Quintet

This episode of the Earfull was originally recorded on September 5th and released on October 9th, 2013. The cover art for the Earfull was made by Hallie Bean. I’d like to thank Christine Correa. For more information on Christine, please visit her page on facebook. You can find the Earfull on the iTunes music storesoundcloud, and Facebook.

The Earfull Episode 3 – Duke Amayo

In this episode, Nigerian afrobeat singer, percussionist, choreographer, fashion designer, graphic designer, and martial artist Duke Amayo talks about growing up in Lagos during the Nigerian Civil War, Fela Kuti, and trying to change the world with his music. Listen on iTunes!photo Duke Amayo sitting down for our interview in August British-born of Nigerian parents, Amayo‘s spirit was first ignited at Fela’s club, The Shrine, in Lagos, Nigeria. While growing up in Lagos, his primary passions were dancing and practicing Kung Fu to the rhythms of funk and Afrobeat. It was then that the seed of Afrobeat was first implanted within him. Amayo first traveled to the United States as teenager to study at Howard University. He later became the founder of a collaborative dance and multimedia collective called the “New Race” in D.C. Upon moving to NYC, he founded his own fashion line called “Amayo.” As the lead singer and percussionist  for Antibalas, Amayo has ignited festival crowds and packed audiences into a frenzy across four continents. Continuing in the tradition of Fela Kuti, Amayo presents the world with his one-of-a-kind style of music, dance, and martial arts – FU-ARKIST-RA. In addition to composing and arranging all the songs, Amayo sings and plays piano and organ intermixed with charged performances of traditional African lyrics and movement. He has opened for James Brown, performed with The Roots, Tony Allen, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Baaba Maal, and with Michael Franti and Spearhead. As Sifu, he is a senior master of the Jow Ga Kung Fu School of martial arts, rooted in the ancient Shaolin school. He has been studying, performing, and teaching Kung Fu for 25 years. He recently choreographed a Kung fu/movement piece for the Washington Ballet, and has guest taught hundreds of NYC public school children for the National Dance Institute. Sifu Amayo has also trained and performed the role of the Lion Head in traditional Chinese Lion Dance for over 20 years. The Ancient Chinese Lion Dance is one of China’s most celebrated traditions. It is a high-energy performance where professional martial artists don the elaborately decorated two-person Chinese Lion body (head and tail), bringing to life a rich oral history that spans many generations of Chinese folklore. The Lion is a symbol of strength and prosperity and is considered to be good luck by all who cross its path. Sifu Amayo begins his one of a kind FU-show by calling the lion to life, performing a salutation ritual and paving the way for dance and celebration of our limitless possibilities. The Lion may be playful and happy, fierce, or bashful, depending on the mood. For more on Duke Amayo, visit antibalas.com. rp-amayo Amayo performing with Antibalas at Roots Family Picnic in 2009 antibalas-echoplex-8 antibalas-echoplex-2 Amayo performing with Antibalas at Echoplex in L.A. in 2010 antibalas_marinaabadjieff_high-30-1024x683 Amayo with Antibalas in Sao Paulo in 2012 antibalas_marinaabadjieff_high-18-1024x683 Amayo in Sao Paulo in 2012 Recordings featured in this podcast (in order of appearance): “Dirty Money” by Antibalas from the self-titled album (Daptone Records, 2012) “Ghana Style percussion” by Chata Addy and Sidah “Joromi” performed by Sir Victor Uwaifo “African Roots of the Blues, Part 1” “Clips on Nigerian Civil War” “Mr. Follow Follow” by Fela Kuti Clip from “The Invincible” with Jimmy Wang Yu “Car Wash” from Rolls Royce Greatest Hits Northern soul classic “The Snake” by Al Wilson “Sweet Banana” by King Sunny Ade “World War IV” by Antibalas “Zombie” by Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 Fox News coverage the 9-11 attacksWho is this America?” by Antibalas “Him Belly Go No Sweet” performed by Antibalas at WFUV This episode of the Earfull Podcast was originally recorded on August 13th and released on October 2nd, 2013. The cover art for the Earfull was made by Hallie Bean. I’d like to thank Duke Amayo for sitting down with me and you for listening. For more information on Duke Amayo, please visit antibalas.com. You can find the Earfull on the iTunes music storesoundcloud, and Facebook.