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Some Annotated Links

The established jazz drummer, Akira Tana, has a well organized website. (I regret I didn't catch him at DC's Kennedy Center in March 97, when he was involved in performances and recordings of 3 generations of Japanese jazz musicians. About a year-and-a-half later, I did manage to interview him.)

Those turntable tyros, the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, were profiled at the end of '96. A better-written article on them, with emphasis on DJ Q-Bert, came out in Giant Robot magazine. You can keep up with the latest news by visiting their official site, although it's unfortunately sketchy (or make that "skratchy") on the Piklz' backgrounds. (Although by now, they've officially dissolved, some going off to do their own thing. So maybe it's all moot.)

Back in the day, the magazine, Grand Royal (issue #4), featured photos and words of Q-Bert on how to scratch and mix. It seemed difficult to understand his conversationally-styled explanations, unless you'd already had hands-on experience. For more precise descriptions of some of the techniques, check out Miles White's The Phonograph Turntable and Performance Practice in Hip Hop Music. The article includes separate audio and video examples.
Or you could certainly peep the video clips at the Piklz site.

There used to be an interesting article you could access giving a personal view of the evolution of  Apache Indian's sound (Jamaican dancehall rap) and fame. With that unavailable, you'll just have to settle for the mildly informative official website.

Finally, a write-up of Nitin Sawhney! Living in the UK and sharing the Hindu Punjabi heritage of Don Raja (a.k.a. Apache Indian), his music is, nonetheless, quite different and quite eclectic. I'd long been looking for a site giving background on Sawhney, but my searches would always turn up only a brief review and some mentions in radio program playlists. This "undiscovered" webpage fills a void, especially in describing the elements of Sawhney's music and the philosophy behind the label he's on, Outcaste. (The label is for artists who are Asian Brits.) ...The "official" perspectives are now offered on newly established sites for Sawhney and Outcaste.
  Much more can be found at Connect magazine. There's a great interview of Sawhney, plus profile of Outcaste, explanation of the pieces on his Broken Skin album, and more. [Well, it used to be available. For some reason, it's been removed, although articles on other musicians of So. Asian descent are accessible if you poke around.]

You can also find some coverage of (or at least links to) Asian American music at "commercial" Asian American websites like, AsianBuyingConsortium (abcflash) [Note: Long gone, I'm keeping this site listed to commemorate those halcyon days of the "New Economy".], AsiaKeys and CelebrAsian Greetings.
Of course, music links are most plentiful at AArising Records. There, you will find a link to this website. The same goes for Big O magazine. (Mind you, that's a music magazine out of Singapore, NOT some disgusting porno magazine! Although... the concept of a government-sanctioned periodical promoting better orgasms in Singapore, along with coordinated mass orgasm events does have a certain appeal.)

A growing list of non-musical sites have linked to here. (Some of them may have become defunct, changed access, or moved elsewhere.) They include:

While classical musicians aren't normally within the purview of this site, I did write about Vanessa-Mae. I might as well suggest you point your browser to the very photogenic site of Chee Yun, who would probably be a finalist in the contest for most attractive Asian female violinist. (Ultimately, though, I feel it's more important to rely on your ears more than your eyes when deciding on what you think of a person's music. But, of course, it doesn't hurt for the promoter or artist to emphasize any visual attributes.)

Not long ago, I attended a talk and video showing by composer Tan Dun about his Symphony 1997 (Heaven - Earth - Mankind). It was commissioned for the Hong Kong handover and performed there and in Beijing in early July of '97. Besides an orchestra, the performers included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a childrens choir, and replicas of 2400-year-old Chinese bells. (For the recording, performers and instruments were recorded separately. The real bells were recorded in China, the choir and orchestra recorded in Hong Kong, and Yo-Yo Ma recorded in Massachusetts.)

While not Asian, Lalo Schifrin has composed music for Asian-themed projects, like vibist Cal Tjader's Several Shades of Jade (1963) or the film scores for Enter the Dragon (1973) and Rush Hour (1998). Not long ago, he composed a symphony to honor Queen Lili'uokalani (the last ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, who was deposed by U.S. missionaries and mercantile interests). You can read reviews of these and more at this webpage. (Do you remember the themes he composed for tv shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. or Mission: Impossible ?)

If its contemporary Asian American jazz and improvisational music you wanna know more about, look no further than the collection of slightly dated, yet still valuable and insightful interviews of musicians in the progressive, multicultural e-zine, In Motion. In it you'll find a wide-ranging, 5-part conversation with Jon Jang and Francis Wong in San Francisco. Other notable interviews include those of Jason Hwang of New York and Jeff Song in Boston. (The latter two are reprints of interviews published in the Asian Improv Records newsletter.)

And here're more links of Asian American and Canadian musicians: