The compositions of Jason Kao Hwang are sonic rituals that strive to cultivate and affirm all that is good and greater than any one of us. What is inspirational in music and what moves the music forward, is the faith, compassion and spirit that exists within each moment of life. This become tangible as vibrations through Human Rites of spontaneous discoveries, music.
Since 2003 Andrew Drury and Ken Filiano have collaborated with Jason Kao Hwang in his various ensembles, including the octet Burning Bridge and quintet Sing House. His most recent release, Blood, performed by Burning Bridge, has received critical acclaim. The Human Rites Trio is Mr. Hwang’s newest group.
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. His 2015 CD Voice (Innova), which features vocalists Deanna Relyea and Tom Buckner performing East Village poetry with different ensembles, received critical acclaim. Zilzal, his duets with Ayman Fanous (guitar/bouzouki) was named one of the Top CDs of 2014 by All About Jazz/ Italy. In 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). His chamber opera The Floating Box, A Story in Chinatown was named one of the “Top Ten Opera Recordings of 2005” by Opera News. 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.
Andrew Drury (drums) has played with Jason Kao Hwang and Ken Filiano since 2004 in quartet, quintet, octet, tentet, string orchestra, and now trio formations. Originally from Seattle, Drury studied with Ed Blackwell at Wesleyan University in Middletown and was part of the Connecticut jazz scene in the late 80s and early 90s, playing with Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Brown, Hotep Galeta, Steve Davis, Brad Mehldau, and others. Since then Drury has performed on over 50 cds and in 25 countries. As a composer/bandleader his most recent CD, Content Provider, was selected as a "Top Ten CD of 2015" by the NYC Jazz Record and his solo CD, The Drum--on which he plays a single floor tom with no overdubs or electronics--was called "an ingenious work that highlights Drury's fertile imagination, audacious musicianship and unparalleled virtuosity" by All About Jazz. In addition to his work with Jason Kao Hwang Drury is involved in international collaborations with musicians in Colombia, Argentina, and Germany, and in the US with Frank Lacy, Robert Dick, Stephanie Richards, JD Parran, and Jack Wright. Other projects include recent work with Elliott Sharp, Thomas Buckner, Craig Harris, Howard Johnson, Tomeka Reid, and Kris Davis. He founded and curates the acclaimed Soup & Sound House Concert Series in Brooklyn which has presented over 80 concerts with musicians from around the world.
Ken Filiano, bass player, composer, improviser, has been performing throughout the world for thirty years, collaborating with leading artists in multiple genres, fusing the rich traditions of the double bass with his own seemingly limitless inventiveness. Ken leads two quartets, Quantum Entanglements, and Baudalino's Dilemma (Vinny Golia, Warren Smith, Michael TA Thompson), and is a co-leader of The Steve Adams/Ken Filiano Duo and TranceFormation (Connie Crothers, Andrea Wolper.) His extensive discography includes a solo bass CD, “subvenire” (NineWinds), and “Dreams From a Clown Car" (Clean Feed), which presents his compositions for his quartet, Quantum Entanglements (Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, Michael TA Thompson). For these and numerous other recordings and performances, critics have called Ken 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."* Ken has performed and/or recorded with Karl Berger, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Braxton, Connie Crothers Quartet, Bill Dixon, Ted Dunbar, Giora Feidman Quartet, Vinny Golia ensembles, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jason Kao Hwang, Joseph Jarman, Raul Juarena, Joelle Leandre, Frank London, Tina Marsh, Warne Marsh, Dom Minasi, Barre Phillips, Roswell Rudd, ROVA Saxophone Qt., Paul Smoker, Peeter Uuskyla, Fay Victor Ensemble, Pablo Zielger, and many more. Ken is on the teaching roster at the New School in New York, and has been 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.