The Afro Asian Music Ensemble paid tribute last year to its founder and bandleader Fred Ho in a performance at Hampshire College. The tribute concert was filmed and is presented by Amherst Media.
A musician, composer and author, Ho was deeply influenced in his teens by saxophonist, Archie Shepp and bebop percussionist,Max Roach, whom he got to know while they were at the University of Massachusetts. Another early influence was poet Sonia Sanchez, who Fred often visited in her Massachusetts home. Ho’s politics were deeply connected to African American struggles, civil rights and matriarchal politics. His archives are housed and available to the public at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Roger N. Buckley and Ms. Angela Rola, co-founders of the university’s Asian American Cultural Center.
Ho died on April 12, 2014 following a courageous battle with colorectal cancer since being diagnosed on August 4th, 2006.
This performance featured Royal Hartigan on drums, Wes Brown on bass, Matan Rubinstein on piano, Masaru Koga on the alto saxophone, David Bindman on the tenor saxophone, and Ben Barson on Fred Ho's baritone saxophone along with featured poet, Magdalena Gómez and vocalist, Youn Jung Kim.