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Asian Americans and Creative Music Legacies

Michael Dessen

Published: 2006-05-01

This essay is an introduction to what has been called the Asian American Creative Music Movement, focusing especially on musicians based in the San Francisco Bay area. It examines the history of those musicians' networks and situates their work as both musicians and activists in relation to African American creative music legacies.

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Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace