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Fusion Soul – Sunday, October 3 at 4 pm



Fusion Soul

Hesterian Musicism
Karlton Hester, 
flute & saxophone
Motoko Honda, piano
    David Smith, bass
    Yunxiang Griswold, pipa

Hwayoung Shon, gayageum

NMK Ensemble
Hyun-Jin Yun, 
Yoon-Jin Kim, violin
Yongjin Yun, bassoon
Soyean Ahn, cello

Karlton Hester Saturnday Head; Free Hesteria; and Byrd Math
Hwayoung Shon Ritual
Byungki Hwang The Haunted Tree
Miseon Jeong Fusion Soul

This performance is sponsored in part by Arts Council Korea.

Hesterian Musicism is the creative process through which Karlton Hester’s compositional and performance style merge to give rise to aesthetic environments where other musicians, kinetic and visual artists, and poets can meet to produce new art forms through imaginative effort. Its philosophical basis involves an intrinsic freedom of expression, focused and disciplined spontaneity, and a structural basis that explores the creative components of diverse sources from the whole earth. Collaboration, therefore, is an important aspect of Hesterian Musicism on all levels of engagement. Inspiration, source materials, thematic resources, timbral imprints, and spiritual influence can be derived from multidisciplinary aspects from any region of the world and can involve any combination of artistic traditions. It is the individual skill and imagination, through which artistic components are explored and developed, which demonstrate that past traditions are stepping stones to future creations (not ends in themselves).

For this program, the musicians will perform several of Karlton Hester’s expressive works engaged in themes of creative freedom, Pythagorean theorems, string theory, the legacies and poly-mathematical work of trumpeter Donald Byrd, as well as an exploration of the philosophical/creative thought of the legendary progenitor of the Afrofuturist perspective, Sun Ra. Alongside these, works by Hwayoung Shon and Byungki Hwang drawing from traditional Korean music start a dialog with Hester’s work that leads to the transcontinental collaboration of Miseon Jeong’s Fusion Soul, which dramatizes the fusion of jazz and traditional Korean music into one soul.

Karlton E. Hester, Ph.D. (composer/flutist/saxophonist), began his career as a composer and recording artist in Los Angeles where he worked as a studio musician and music educator. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the City University of New York Graduate Center and is currently the director and member of the principal faculty for the University of California, Santa Cruz Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) MFA program.

As performer on both flute and saxophone, he is founding music director of the Fillmore Jazz Preservation Big Band (in San Francisco), director of Hesterian Musicism, and served as the Herbert Gussman Director of Jazz Studies at Cornell University from 1991-2001. Hester specializes in premeditated, spontaneous and electro acoustic composition. His compositions span a wide range; from numerous solo cycles for various woodwinds to chamber configurations, music videos and electro-acoustic symphonic works written in an eclectic array of styles.

Karlton Hester has performed throughout the USA and worldwide (in Bolivia, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Peru, Egypt, Korea, Germany, France, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Canada). Hester Festivals and Conferences  (with the International Society for Improvised Music, the Fillmore Preservation Big Band, as well as at Cornell  and UCSC with Hesterian Musicism and the Traditional & Experimental Cornell Lab Ensembles) have included guest artists Jaki Byard, John Handy, Joe Henderson, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Stanley Turrentine, Louis Jordan, Buddy Collette, Dr. Donald Byrd, Dr. Billy Taylor, Dr. Nelson Harrison, Randy  Weston, Charles Lloyd, Geri Allen, Benny Powell Charles Tolliver, Steve Turre, Sam Rivers, Denise Perrier, Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), George E. Lewis, Roscoe Mitchell, Hotep Galeta (South Africa), Ashwin Batish, Victor Goines, Akua Dixon, Mamadou Diabate (Mali), Samite Mulondo (Uganda), Cecilia Smith, Phil Bowler, Adela Dalto, Akua Dixon, Pamela Wise, Nick Mathis, and many other renowned innovators, jazz and African  artists.

Hwayoung Shon, a gayageum performer, was praised by Seong-Chun Lee, former director of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, as an outstanding performer who appears once in several decades. Hwayoung Shon made her public debut at the age of 10 in 1986 with Korean Broadcasting System. She graduated from Seoul National University and is the winner of 11 national Korean music competitions. At the age of 17, she was awarded the grand prize at the national gayageum competition, the most prestigious gayageum competition in Korea. It was featured in newspapers, TV and acclaimed by media as the most beautiful and gorgeous-sounding performer despite her young age. She was also the first gayageum performer to collaborate with a K-pop band on TV in Korea.

As a soloist, she has been invited to many distinguished concert halls such as Herbst Theatre and performed on many prominent stages. She also performs in the United States, Japan, Europe, and her performances were broadcasted nationwide by KBS, MBC, EBS, SBS in Korea. Her recent appearance includes KAMSA orchestra collaborator and soloist, HKMCC for lecture concert, The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, The World Music Festival in France, Marin Symphony Valentine Day Showcase and Old First Concerts.

Portrayed as a “Keyboard Alchemist” (Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times) and the “Embodiment of a Muse” (Greg Burk,, critically-acclaimed Japanese-born pianist/composer/interdisciplinary artist Motoko Honda has fascinated critics and audiences alike with her genre-defying innovative approach to piano playing and composing: “Imagine Radiohead teaching Franz List how to rock a Kaoss Pad; or John Cage facing off with Bud Powell over prepared piano” (Matthew Duersten, With stylistic influences ranging from jazz to Indonesian music and contemporary prepared & electrified piano, Honda is a musical force of nature, bringing a unique creative sound to her solo works and wide-ranging collaborations. Her music transports audiences on sonic adventures that transcend the boundaries and conventions of traditional contemporary music concerts.

As an active pianist-composer, band leader, and interdisciplinary creator, Honda has been commissioned to produce a multitude of works that have been presented at major festivals and venues by major organizations throughout the US and abroad. Honda has performed, collaborated, and recorded with many distinguished musicians such as Pulitzer nominee Wadada Leo Smith, Guggenheim Fellow Elliott Sharp, punk legend Mike Watt, guitarist Nels Cline, Emmy Award winner Van-Anh Vanessa Vo. She also frequently appears as a guest performer-lecturer at various universities and institutions worldwide to share her unique perspective on graphic scores, contemporary composition techniques, improvisation, interdisciplinary/collaborative media works, electro-acoustic esthetics, and extended piano techniques. Her recent appearances include the San Francisco Music Festival at Herbst Theater; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Angel City Jazz Festival, Los Angeles, Rice University and Moody Center for the Arts, Houston, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, University of California Santa Cruz, and Kala Art Institute, Berkeley.

David O. Smith, M.A. Music Performance, has been filling the bass chair position in Hesterian Musicism for the past 12 years. He is proud and honored to participate in this performance. The future of our global consciousness is awakened and developed further by a living cultural exchange through the various vehicles of visual, musical, kinetic and narrative artistic expression.

Yunxiang Gao Griswold is a composer, pianist, and pipa player from China. She graduated from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Composition. In 2011, she entered the University of California at Irvine to continue her graduate study in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts with an emphasis in World Music Composition at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She invited to present Chinese music and her own composition at the New England Conservatory of Music, performed Chinese instruments at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and appeared Music Acoustica Festival.

Ensemble NMK (Neue Musik aus Korea) project was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2015 to promote Korean New Music not only in Korea but also in the world. The group is actively performing various Korean creative music on overseas stages, including the invitation to the Berlin Korean New Music Festival held at the Berlin Konzerthaus in 2019.

Korean Conductor and Composer Hyun-Jin Yun is currently an Assistant Professor at the Anyang University, Project Director of NMK, and a Board Member of the Hwaseong City Culture Foundation. He won the 1st prize at the 3rd Jeunesses Musicales International Conducting Competition in Bucharest and has been worked with George Enescu Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic and WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne.

Miseon Jeong began her professional music career with Ensemble Modern, and the Ensemble IEMA and the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic, and the Tonkünstler Orchester, Norddeutsche Philharmonie, and her works also premiered at the Usedom Music Festival and the Witten Festival of Contemporary Chamber Music in Germany. She won the 1st prize at the 27th Siegburg International Composition Competition and Jury-prize at “ad libitum” in Baden Württemberg in Germany where her works were performed at the Stadthalle Singen and Theaterhaus Stuttgart. Since 2019 Miseon Jeong is Guest Professor at the Myongji University in South Korea.

Violinist Yoon-Jin Kim performed with many leading orchestras, such as Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Sachsische Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, etc. In 2019/20 season she made her debut at the Carnegie hall and her recordings H. Wieniawski Violin concerto No. 2 and A. Vivaldi Concerto Op. 3 no. 8 were released. Since many years she has been working with numerous creative musicians and contemporary music composers worldwide and Her Violin Recital Project “Violinist Yoon Jin Kim and Contemporary Music Composers around the World” was supported by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture in 2019 and 2020.

Korean bassoonist Yongjin Yun returns to Asia after studying at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany, where he obtained a Master of Music and completed the elite postgraduate Konzertexamen program. Yongjin performed Mozart’s Concerto for Bassoon with the Hamburger Symphoniker and won numerous prizes and scholarships for both solo and chamber music, including the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now Hamburg Scholarship for Chamber Music, and first prize in the Musikjournal Competition.

Born in Korea, Soyeon Ahn graduated from Sunhwa Arts School, Sunhwa Arts High School, Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul. She received Diplom & Meisterklassendiplom from Hochschule für Musik Augsburg in Germany (Prof. Julius Berger). She currently is a member of Cello Passionato (Germany), La Mer Trio, and NMK Ensemble.

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