J-Town Culture Bearers
PAST PRESENT FUTURE INFINITY
Presented by First Voice & J-town Task Force

Infinity: Hanabi

Masaru Koga & Friends
Sat. 13 April 3:30 PM JCCCNC 1840 Sutter St. San Francisco

Masaru Koga, lead artist, flutist and saxophonist is originally from Japan. He has been an integral part of San Francisco’s creative music scene. Known for his cross-cultural musical palette and innovative approach, awarded “Best Latin Jazz Flutist”, Koga recently released his CD, Hanabi.

Hanabi (flower fire)
Fire blossoms remind us of the fleetingness of life
And the connection between all living beings – Mas

The Present: PACIFIC BRIDGE

Akira Tana & Otonowa
Sat. 13 April 8:30 PM Suite 501 Japantown East Mall 2nd Floor Post St.
With Masaru Koga (reeds/percussion), Noriyuki Ken Okada (bass), Ben Stolorow (keyboard).

Since the 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Tohoku, Bay Area native Akira Tana has made annual pilgrimages to Japan with the group under his leadership Otonowa, creating music directly from the crucible of disaster, building a bridge between Nikkei and Japanese musicians that inspires and heals.

“ Akira Tana, the acclaimed drummer has worked with a Who’s Who of jazz legends, from Art Farmer to Zoot Sims, Sonny Rollins to Sonny Stitt, James Moody to Lena Horne.” – KPFA.

The Past: Memories, Movies & Music

Mark Izu & Friends
Sun.14 April 3:30 PM Suite 501 Japantown East Mall 2nd Floor Post St.
With George Yamasaki (piano), Shoko Hikage (koto) & Masaru Koga (reeds/percussion)

Emmy Award winning composer Mark Izu and musicians perform live to rarely seen Japanese American Home Movies from the 1930’s.

“Bay Area pioneer on the creative music scene”
– Down Beat Magazine

The Future: Hapa Voices

SF BATCO with hapa director Jamie Yuen-Shore & Othello Jefferson
Sat. 20 April 4:00 PM JCCCNC Gym 1840 Sutter St. San Francisco

Singers, dancers and musicians from SFBATCO, Perform excerpts from their sold out Izzie-nominated musical I, Too, Sing America

“Profoundly moving, awe-inspiring and thought provoking
– Daily Californian

Since 1976 Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu have played a central role in the evolution of Asian American Art. They founded First Voice in 1997, with a mission to create, present and contribute the stories and music of people living between worlds. Critical to this mission is “personal experience” or “voice” – essential to the authentic representation of the people of the United States. Aoki’s grandfather, Chojiro Peter Aoki, was one of the founders of Japantown in 1897.

The J-town Task Force mission is to Preserve and develop Japantown, strengthen the ethnic diversity, and create an atmosphere of safety, beauty, vitality, and prosperity.