Blogs Category: Asian American History

Homegrown Plus Premiere: Chinese Hammered Dulcimer with Chao Tian

We're continuing the Homegrown Plus Premiere series with Chao Tian, a master of the yangqin, or Chinese hammered dulcimer, as well as a sound designer and visual artist. For her concert, Chao Tian is joined by Tom Teasley, a multidimensional percussionist, performer, and composer. As is usual for the series, this blog post includes an embedded concert video, an interview video, and a set of related links to explore!

Homegrown Plus Premiere: 'Ukulele Master Herb Ohta, Jr.

We're continuing the Homegrown Plus Premiere series with international recording artist Herb Ohta, Jr., who is one of today's most prolific ʻukulele masters. In this blog you'll find an embedded concert video, an interview video, and a set of related links to explore! We're very excited to present Herb Ohta, Jr. in the series. Influenced by jazz, R&B, Latin and Brazilian music, as well as traditional Hawaiian sounds, he puts his stamp on Hawaiian music by pushing the limits of tone and technique on this beautiful instrument. The son of ʻukulele legend "Ohta-san," he started playing at the age of three, and began teaching at the age of nine. Based in Honolulu, he shares the music of Hawaiʻi and the beauty of the ʻukulele with people around the world, performing concerts and conducting instructional workshops. As a special treat, Herb asked his good friend Jake Shimabukuro to join him for a medley of traditional Hawaiian songs. Shimabukuro, also a Honolulu native, is one of the most highly acclaimed ʻukulele players in the world, and has collaborated with many great musicians, including Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Loggins, and Amy Mills. He's never forgotten his roots in Hawaiian music, though, and was kind enough to join Herb in his Homegrown concert.

Homegrown Plus: Ann Yao

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) This time, though, there’s a twist: Ann Yao, who performed in the 2020 series, also presented a Homegrown concert way back in 2011 with the Ann […]

Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Goes Online

The following guest post by Ann Hoog is part of a series of blog posts about the 40th Anniversary Year of the American Folklife Center. Visit this link to see them all! The American Folklife Center is pleased to announce a new online presentation of the Chicago Ethnic Arts Project Collection.  The photos and audio […]

Vintage Researcher Photo: George Takei

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, we present this vintage AFC researcher photo. (And by “vintage,” I mean “prior to the existence of Folklife Today.”) This photo shows the stage, film, and television actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, who visited the AFC Reading Room on April […]