Dr. Anthony Brown
Composer, percussionist, educator, and ethnomusicologist Anthony Brown has played a seminal role in contemporary California creative music from his pioneering work with the Asian American jazz movement in the early 1980s to his current leadership of the GRAMMY nominated Asian American Orchestra. Under his direction, the Orchestra has recorded six critically acclaimed CDs, including homages to American composers Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, George Gershwin and John Coltrane. His composition Rhymes (For Children) served as the theme music for KQED's Pacific Time, a Public Radio International syndicated weekly newsmagazine.
Dr. Brown holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in music (Ethnomusicology) from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Master of Music from Rutgers University, and is the recipient of numerous grants and commissions from organizations such as Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, Arts International, and Asian Heritage Council. A Smithsonian Associate Scholar, Guggenheim and Ford Fellow, Dr. Brown has served as Curator of American Musical Culture at the Smithsonian Institution and as a Visiting Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley.
He has been Fifth Stream Music's Artistic Director since its establishment in 2005.
Dr. Tommy Lott, Vice-Chair
Dr. Lott is currently Professor of Philosophy at San Jose State University and has taught at the university level throughout the United States. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. His areas of expertise include modern, social and political philosophy, African American social and political thought, and African American culture, with extensive research credentials and publications under his own name and as editor.
Ms. Martha Brown, Secretary/Treasurer
Ms. Brown is currently the Director of Finance and Administration at the East Bay Community Law Center, with over twenty-five years experience in financial, personnel, and project management with non-profit organizations. She holds a MSW degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with an emphasis in community organizing and an undergraduate liberal arts degree from Wesleyan University. She has volunteered with the Asian American Orchestra/Fifth Stream Music since its inception.
Mr. Bill Bennett, Board Member
Mr. Bennett is a Grammy-nominated producer and oft-published jazz historian, and spent five years as Executive Producer of the Smithsonian Collection of Recordings. He performs with the band, the Flying Other Brothers, playing bass guitar and double bass, and has contributed a number of songs to their repertoire. He is active in the Recording Academy, where he is a member of the Board of Governors of the San Francisco chapter, and serves on national committees on honorary awards and Internet applications
Dr. Leonard Brown, Board Member
Dr. Brown is a professional musician, teacher, ethnomusicologist and specialist in multicultural education. He has performed with Alice Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, George Russell, Bill Barron, Yusef Lateef, Alan Dawson and Ed Blackwell. An associate professor at Northeastern University/Boston with a joint appointment in the Music and African American Studies Departments, Dr. Brown is co-director of the Afro-Caribbean Music Research Project. From 1996 to 2002, he served as senior ethnomusicologist and principal cultural historian to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO, the first national jazz museum in the nation. He has received Distinguished Scholar awards from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute at Northeastern University. Brown’s recent publications include John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music (2010) and Boston’s Jazz Legend: The Al Vega Story (2011).
Dr. Herman Gray, Board Member
Dr. Gray is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his BA degree from Florida A & M University, his MA degree from Washington State University and his PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research interests include Black Visual Cultures and the Production of Subjects; Jazz Archives, Knowledge and Expertise; Sonic Identities: The Role of Music in the Production of Cultural Identity, and Media Representation and Cultural Politics. Recent publications include TOWARDS A SOCIOLOGY OF THE TRACE co-edited with Macarena Gomez Barris (Minnesota Press) 2010; "John Coltrane and the Practice of Freedom" in John Coltrane & Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and The Music (Oxford) 2010; CULTURAL MOVES (California) 2005; and WATCHING RACE: TELEVISION AND THE SIGN OF BLACKNESS 2nd Edition (Minnesota) 2004.
Dr. Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Board Member
Dr. Fregoso is an interdisciplinary scholar and writer. She is the author of six books and edited collections, and has numerous articles published in print and online journals, and edited collections. Fregoso is currently the Interim Chair and Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and lives in Oakland, California. Fregoso’s research and teaching reflect her interest in human rights, culture, and feminism. Her publications cover issues of human rights, feminicide, and gender violence, media and visual arts, race, cultural politics and aesthetics, in the Américas. As a member of the editorial collective, Fregoso writes for the online news site, The Feminist Wire. For further information, visit her website at www.rosalindafregoso.com
Karen Kai, Board Member
Ms. Kai is an attorney and community activist who explores and shares her Japanese American heritage, history and culture. Karen was part of the legal team that successfully challenged Fred Korematsu’s conviction for refusing to comply with the military orders interning Japanese Americans during World War II. She was lead researcher and writer for the San Francisco Japantown History Walk, a self-guided tour of San Francisco’s Japantown. Viewing art and culture as a bridge for communication, Karen has helped organize projects linking communities, including “My Name is Jazz,” a residency program bringing Jazz musicians and poets to Rosa Parks Elementary School’s third through fifth grade students, and the World Tree of Hope, an annual public art project created by Rainbow World Fund, an LGBT international aid organization, that displays thousands of origami cranes inscribed with wishes of hope on San Francisco’s City Hall holiday tree. Karen’s personal artistic endeavors include pine needle basketry, origami, and taiko drumming.
Dr. Olly Wilson, Board Member
Dr. Wilson is a prominent American composer of contemporary classical music and a musicologist. He is one of the preeminent living composers of African American descent. He pursued his studies at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Illinois, earning a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He taught at Florida A&M University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and is an emeritus professor of music at the University of California, Berkeley, retiring in 2002. In the 1970's he received Guggenheim Fellowships to study traditional music in West Africa. He has published many scholarly articles on African and African American music. Wilson has written extensively for chamber, orchestral, and electronic media. He has long been active as an educator and advocate of contemporary music.
Mr. George Yoshida, Vice-Chair - In Memoriam
Mr. Yoshida was a retired music educator, having taught in the Berkeley School District for over 35 years, as well as a jazz musician, community activist, and author. His 1997 publication, Reminiscing in Swingtime, chronicles the history of Japanese American participation in American popular music and has been used as the basis for public educational programs about the Japanese American internment experience during World War II. George made active contributes to the Bay Area Japanese American community, and Fifth Stream Music until his passing on May 13, 2014. He is remembered fondly and greatly missed.