RIP Brother Fred
h/t to Maria and The New York Times
Mr. Ho, who was of Chinese descent, called himself a “popular avant-gardist.” He was inspired by the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and by the ambitious, powerful music of African-American bandleaders, including Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Sun Ra and especially Charles Mingus. But he rejected the word jazz, which he considered a pejorative term imposed by Europeans.
I have written a couple of times here about Fred Ho, even made him my freedom hero, because I look up to him. I was happy when I discovered his music years ago and reached out to him, back when you could do such things via the internet. He responded back and was as kind, humble, and erudite as he came across through his music and essays.
If you want to learn more about him you can listen to this NPR interview and then pick up his books or listen to his music. For a newbie I would suggest his book Legacy to Liberation. For music it’s hard for me to choose, but my favorite is still “Yes Means Yes, No Means No, Whatever She Wears, Wherever She Goes“.
His passing is a great loss to the arts/Blasian/socio-theoretical community. He will be missed.
In preparation of his transition from leaving his corporeal form to become warrior light, Fred worked with a film crew to make a documentary of his last year of light. Check for it when it comes to your city.
You can also learn more about Fred at the website Discover Fred Ho
Peaceful journey brother Fred.