Fred Ho, Presente!

Duncan, Brad

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/09/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20819

A tribute to saxophonist, composer, and revolutionary Marxist activist Fred Ho, who was an active member of the Jazz and radical left-movements.



As a Marxist Ho embraced and drew inspiration from the revolutionary movements against colonialism that swept the world in the 1960s and 1970s, from Vietnam to the U.S. Black Liberation Movement. He brought explicitly socialist and radical left politics to his performances like no other working saxophonist during the era of his wide-ranging music career, which formally began in 1985 with the LP "Tomorrow Is Now" (Soul Note).

After years struggling to thrive as a working avant-garde musician and even more years as a highly engaged Marxist cadre with a history in real social movements, Fred Ho's approach to his 2006 cancer diagnosis was no less determined than you might expect.

He battled cancer head-on, with sometimes unorthodox methods, and in public so that others might learn from it, essentially applying lessons learned by guerrillas and leftist insurgents to his fight against cancer.