Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Randy Wong is known as a double bassist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and arts educator.
A classical double bassist by training, Mr. Wong is the bassist for Project Copernicus, a chamber orchestra based in Miami, FL and performs regularly throughout the New England region with The Orchestra of Indian Hill, New Bedford Symphony, Nashua Symphony, and others.
Mr. Wong is bandleader, founder, composer and arranger for the acclaimed exotic Polynesian lounge band WAITIKI, and has appeared with them throughout the United States and Mexico. In 2008, his album “Rendezvous in Okonkuluku” (WAITIKI’s sophomore album release) won a Hawaii Music Award for “Exotica Album of the Year”— a category which was created the previous year, in recognition of Wong’s dedication to the revitalization of exotica music, and for which Wong’s album “Charred Mammal Flesh: Exotic Music for BBQ” won. In 2007, “Cave of Uldo” (one of Wong’s original compositions) was nominated for an Ontario Independent Music Award for “Best Song from the USA.” His arrangements of hapa-haole and exotica tunes (once made famous by Arthur Lyman, Alfred Apaka, and Martin Denny) appear on both WAITIKI albums and “Paradise Lost & Found”, a compilation released in late 2007 by Flea Market Music. His composition “L’ours Chinois,” a Fritz Kreisler-esque violin showpiece that draws influences from Maurice Ravel and classic exotica of the late 1950s was commissioned by Chung Park for Project Copernicus, and received performances in Miami and West Palm Beach that were noted in the Palm Beach Post as “immediately engaging.” The Post‘s Greg Stepanich later named Wong’s “L’ours Chinois” debut as #4 in his Top 10 Classical Music Events for 2007.
Mr. Wong can also be heard on Abe Lagrimas Jr.’s Na Hoku Hanohano award-nominated jazz album “Dimensions”, releases by Pass Out Records (of which he is co-founder), and a diverse selection of classical chamber music releases on Mode and Naxos labels with New England Conservatory and Carnegie Mellon University honors ensembles.
As an arts educator and educational researcher, Randy Wong is Associate Editor of the Journal for Music-In-Education, published jointly by New England Conservatory and the Music-In-Education National Consortium.
Randy Wong received his Bachelor’s of Music from New England Conservatory (studies with Todd Seeber, Cecil McBee, and Michael Cain), Master’s of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (studies with Steve Seidel, Jessica Davis, and Howard Gardner), and conducted further study with Jeffrey Turner at Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently the Music-In-Education National Consortium’s Director of Guided Internship Programs and is program coordinator for NEC’s Center for Music-In-Education.
From Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Post:
“That is the merit of [Randy Wong’s] L’Ours Chinois — it’s the work of a composer who knows how to express himself even when he’s only trying to express how much he likes certain kinds of music. Frankly, although this composition works quite well as an apertif, there’s plenty of evidence here that Wong could write a full-scale concerto for [Helen] Liu based on this material. It’s one of the few truly successful crossover pieces I’ve heard in many a day.” (Emphasis added)