AwareNow: Issue 28: The Mental Edition

Page 82

AwareNow Podcast


Exclusive Interview with Jordan VanHemert


ALLIÉ: Representation is important. If you don’t see (or hear) versions of yourself, your music or your culture in society, you feel there isn’t a place for you. You decided to make a place and a space for Korean music in jazz. With what you’ve given in this album, Jordan, what is it that you hope people take from for it?

JORDAN: I hope that those who are familiar with the repertoire feel seen and heard, and that they can feel joyful that there is someone out there creating music for them. For those who are unfamiliar with the repertoire, I hope that they do exactly as you have done and use it as both a window and a door–a gateway–into the traditions of this music and where it came from.

ALLIÉ: As we pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history, what is it that you want people to be mindful of, not only this month - but every month?

JORDAN: This month, it is important to understand the many ways in which the API community has been oppressed in this country and to remember how we still fight every day. I hope that we grow into a place where every month, we acknowledge the ways in which the API community has contributed to this country – not just our own community, but this country as a whole.

Get to know people whose lives are not like your own. Understand that their perspective is a valid way of experiencing the world. Understand that just because you didn’t experience something in the same way as someone else, it doesn’t invalidate their experience. The more we can learn about each other’s stories, the better off we are. The more we can do that, the more our perspectives only stand to benefit. It’s about truly listening - not just hearing each other. It’s about understanding our shared humanity. ∎



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