,(Chinese: 侯维翰; pinyin: Hóu Wéihàn
; born Fred Wei-han Houn
; August 10, 1957 – April 12, 2014) was an American jazz baritone saxophonist, composer, bandleader, playwright, writer and Marxist social activist. In 1988, he changed his surname to “Ho”. He was born in Palo Alto, California.
While he is sometimes associated with the Asian American jazz or avant-garde jazz movements, Ho himself was opposed to the use of term “jazz” to describe traditional African American music because the word “jazz” was used pejoratively by white Americans to denigrate the music of African Americans.In his role as an activist, many of his works fuse the melodies of indigenous and traditional Asian and African musics, which as Ho would have said
is the music of the majority of the world’s people.
Ho also co-edited two books: Legacy to Liberation: Politics and Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America
and Sounding Off! Music as Subversion/Resistance/Revolution
. At the time of his death Hp had a third book in progress about African Americans and Asians working together in civil rights, which he was co-writing with Purdue University professor of African-American studies Bill Mullen. His contributions to the Asian American empowerment movement are varied and many. He is credited with co-founding several Asian American civic groups such as the East Coast Asian Students Union (while a student at Harvard), the Asian American Arts Alliance in New York City, the Asian American Resource Center in Boston and the Asian Improv record label.