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Ms. Coll. 142

Ho, Fred Wei-han. Musical scores : 1991-2011

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Merritt Room
Call No.: Ms. Coll. 142
Repository: Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Ho, Fred Wei-han. Musical scores
Date(s): 1991-2011
Quantity: 1 boxes
Abstract: Manuscript scores and related materials of American composer and social activist Fred Wei-han Ho.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Fred Ho arranged to give this collection to the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library in 2012.

Processed by:

Dhyana Berry

Conditions Governing Use:

Collection is open for research; no commercial use.

Related Materials

Additional material may be found in related collections at other institutions:Fred Ho Papers, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut

Biographical / Historical

Fred Ho (b. Fred Wei-han Houn Palo Alto, CA, 10 August 1957; d. Brooklyn, NY, 12 April 2014). Chinese-American composer, baritone saxophonist, activist and Marxist. His music and radical politics, both discovered by the age of 14, were inseparable and dominated his life. "All music is political," he explained, "whether the artist is conscious of it or not. I subscribe to the interpenetration of ideas and material life. I talk the walk." Ho was known for a unique musical style that fuses elements of traditional Chinese and African-American music with jazz to create a rich, multicultural, multidimensional sound.
He attended Harvard University, graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1979. By the time he entered Harvard, at twenty, Ho had already joined, and left, the Nation of Islam. Ideologically, he was a "yellow nationalist" until the summer after his freshman year, when he joined the I Wor Kuen, an Asian-American radical group, initially modeled after the Black Panthers, which morphed into the League of Revolutionary Struggle. Ho painstakingly converted to Marxism and quickly came to regard the IWK as his family.
Ho moved to New York in the early '80s to pursue a career as a musician. He recorded more than fifteen albums and founded the Afro Asian Music Ensemble in 1982. In 1984, he founded the publishing company Transformation Art Publisher. Three years later in 1990, Ho started the Monkey Orchestra and co-founded the Brooklyn Sax Quartet with David Bindmanin in 1997, and Caliente! Circle Around the Sun (with poets Magdalena Gomez and Raul Salinas), among others. Ho became the youngest person as well as first Asian American to receive the Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989. Later in 2009, Ho was a recipient of the Harvard Arts Medal as well as a 2009-10 resident of the Peter Ivers Visiting Artist program.

Scope and Content

This collection contains copies of manuscript scores as well as a small number of related and supporting materials including programs, pamphlets, news clippings, and photographs.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Afro Asian Music Ensemble
Jazz vocals
Big band music
Music theater--Librettos
Jazz--History and criticism
Music--Social aspects
Mythology--Chinese--songs and music
Radicalism--United States
Ho, Fred Wei-han, 1957-2014
Wang, Cindy Zuoxin
Margraff, Ruth
Cortez, Jayne
Ali, Muhammad, 1942-