One Day American, One Day Alien: Black & Brown Artists Who Made the National Anthem Their Own w/ Jon Jang

“Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
– W.E.B. Du Bois, 1905 Niagra Moment Speech

For nearly half a century, artists of color were vilified, demonized and criminalized for performing The Star Spangled Banner in their own way. “Disrespectful”, “unpatriotic”, and “unamerican” were common descriptors of their arrangements/performances. In chronological order, attendees will begin by hearing José Feliciano’s 1968 performance and end with Beyoncé’s performance at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration ceremony in 2013.

Bay Area jazz legend Jon Jang will lead attendees in this very timely examination of a surprisingly volatile repertoire piece, revealing how fragile our democracy has always been.

Your email address will be collected after registration on this site; the Zoom link to the webinar will be sent to you on Friday May 13th, the day before the presentation.


Jon Jang

Bay Area-based pianist, composer, bandleader, and veteran social justice advocate Jon Jang has been making meaningful music for over 4 decades. Jang has composed significant works such as Can’t Stop Cryin’ for America: Black Lives Matter!, When Sorrow Turns to Joy -Songlines: The Spiritual Tributary of Paul Robeson and Mei Lanfang, co-composed with James Newton and commissioned by Cal Performances and SenseUS in collaboration with Max Roach. As a pianist, Jang has recorded with Max Roach, James Newton and David Murray and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in United States, Canada, Europe, China and South Africa in 1994, four months after the election to end apartheid. As a scholar and visiting artist, Jang has presented lectures such as The Sounds of Struggle: Music from the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s to the Asian American Movement of the 1980s at Columbia University, Hamilton College, UCLA and others. Learn more at