With Jason Kao Hwang’s Critical Response sounds of origin radically evolve through rhythm, melody and colors to affirm compassion within neo-technological consciousness. With the multiple FX processing of both violin and guitar within layers of polyrhythms, this power trio has symphonic scope. Critical Response has performed in the 2018 Vision Festival (with Douglas Dunn and Dancers), Howland Cultural Center, Arts for Art in the Parks, Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery, and Bushwick Public Housing.
The music of Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) explores the vibrations and language of his history. His compositions are often narrative landscapes through which sonic beings embark upon extemporaneous, transformational journeys. His most recent release Blood, performed by Burning Bridge, his octet of Chinese and Western instruments, is receiving critical accalim. Downbeat Magazine named his quintet recording Sing House, one of the Best CDs of 2017. In 2019, 2018, 2013 and 2012 the El Intruso Jazz Critics Poll voted him #1 for Violin. The 2012 Downbeat Critics’ Poll voted Mr. Hwang as “Rising Star for Violin.” The first Burning Bridge was named one of the top CDs of 2012 by Jazziz and the Jazz Times. In 2011 he released the critically acclaimed Symphony of Souls (Mulatta), performed by his improvising string orchestra, Spontaneous River. In 2010, the New York Jazz Record selected Commitment, The Complete Recordings, 1981-1983 (NoBusiness), from a collective quartet that was Mr. Hwang’s first band, as one the “2010 Reissued Recordings of the Year.” His quartet EDGE released three critically acclaimed CDS, EDGE (2006, Asian Improv), Stories Before Within (2008, Innova), and Crossroads Unseen (2011, Euonymus). As composer, Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation and others. As violinist, he has worked with Karl Berger, Anthony Braxton, William Parker, Butch Morris, Ivo Perlman, Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Pauline Oliveros, Tomeka Reid, Patrick Brennan, and many others.
Anders Nilsson is a New York-based guitarist, composer, improviser. He plays electric guitars, 11-string alto guitar and baĝlama. His output spans a wide musical spectrum ranging from solo shows (“Night Guitar”), Anders Nilsson Group (a rhythm-heavy band in NYC), "Outer Space Caravan" with violist Staphanie Griffin, saxophonist Michael Attias and bassist Ken Filiano, Anders Nilsson’s AORTA. He is also a band member in several groups playing jazz or improvised music. After receiving a BA from Malmö Academy of Music and having worked as a musician in Sweden for a few years he moved to New York in 2000 and got his MA from CCNY. He has performed and/or recorded or toured internationally with many artists associated with the blues/jazz/experimental paradigms such as Kalabalik (with Raoul Björkenheim and Gerald Cleaver), Paquito D’Rivera, William Parker, Elliot Sharp, Fay Victor, art-metal band Angelblood, and Persian vocalist Mohsen Namjoo. Always welcoming of interdisciplinary interaction, he has collaborated with Butoh artist Akira Kasai, theatre director Doris Mirescu and video artist Arrien Zinghini. Nilsson’s work as a composer includes music for short films, dance performances, string quartet, theatre plays, as well as a constantly growing book of a hundred compositions including brief to epic works for solo guitar, jazz, to large experimental ensemble works. Many of these works have been released on several acclaimed albums.
Soundrhythium Michael T.A. Thompson (drums) is an anomaly. He has played, toured and/or recorded with such a wide variety of musical artists, including Charles Gayle, Joe McPhee, Oliver Lake, Kidd Jordan, Alex Foster, Roy Campbell Jr., Dennis Gonzales, Matthew Shipp, Uri Caine, Henry Grimes, John Patitucci, Marc Ribot, William Parker, The Shadow, Becket, reggae artist Owen Gray, as well as artists from classical to rap and beyond. He has played on sound tracks for TV shows and Radio commercials etc.. T.A.'s palate encompasses an abundance of sound colors. He hears everything and plays with it in a way that's ever inventive and perceptively responsive. Thompson plays as he breathes. You'll always find him in the moment, inspired as well as inspiring.
Jason Kao Hwang brought Critical Response to Bushwick Public House last night for a dynamic set of improvisations. The music was fully improvised, riveting throughout, and evolved impressively from beginning to end. - Cisco Bradley, Jazz Right Now Read Full Review
Next up was the Critical Response Trio with violinist Jason Kao Hwang, guitarist Anders Nilsson, and drummer Michael TA Thompson, accompanied by an eleven piece dance troupe. It was fantastic. The trio, whom I had heard once before exactly one year ago at an intimate concert in Beacon, NY, were spot on again. - Paul Acquaro and Martin Schray, The Free Jazz Collective Read full review