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Paper Son Paper Songs

SKU AIR0069 Category

This work was commissioned by the Eastside Arts Alliance (Oakland, CA) supported by a grant from the Fund for Artists @ East Bay Community Foundation.
During the Chinese exclusion era (1882-1943) in the United States, Chinese were the first ethic group denied admission into the United States. The Chinese created the paper son slot system where an illegal Chinese young man or boy could claim US citizenship by purchasing papers from a Chinese father who has US citizenship.
Paper Songs is Jon Jang’s concept of Americanizing Chinese folk songs: Transforming the melodies that are written on paper (music notation) into jazz.


Jim Norton Soprano Saxophone
Francis Wong Tenor Saxophone and Flute
John L. Worley Jr. Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Wayne Wallace Trombone
David Belove Electric Bass
Deszon Claiborne Multiple Percussion

Composed by Jon Jang
Arranged and DIrected by Wayne Wallace
Performed by The Jon Jang Seven

Paper Son, Paper Songs is a three movement work (tracks 1-3 , 17:52) commemorating the centennial anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that destroyed Chinatown and almost all of the city’s official birth records resulting in an increase of “paper sons.” This work was commissioned by the Eastside Arts Alliance (Oakland, CA) supported by a grant from the Fund for Artists @ East Bay Community Foundation.

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