This year's amazing stage program will be held at the Bandshell stage!
10:30AM Soh Daiko - Japanese Taiko Drumming
10:50AM NY Licorice Ensemble - Clarinet Ensemble
11:20AM Japan Day Art Contest - Award Ceremony
11:40AM International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan - Karate Demonstration
12:00PM COBU - Japanese Taiko Drumming & Dance
12:45PM J-MUSIC Ensemble - J-Pop / Jazz Fusion
1:05PM Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir - Gospel
1:25PM Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York - Bon Odori
1:45PM Alan Merrill - Rock Band
2:30PM Shinji Harada - Rock Band
2:55PM Che'Nelle - Vocal
3:15PM Kazunori Kumagai - Tap Dance
3:35PM Kaori Kishitani - Vocal
Sandra Endo is a television news correspondent on KTTV Los Angeles, Fox 11 News. Endo covers breaking news and feature reports for Good Day LA. She moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles after spending most of her career on the East Coast. Before making the move back to LA, she worked for CNN based in Washington DC. Her stories have appeared on prime time shows such as AC360 with Anderson Cooper. She also reported on the devastating tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, as well as the international conflicts in Egypt and the U.S involvement in Libya. Prior to joining CNN, Endo was a political reporter, host and anchor for NY1, covering a wide array of campaigns, the transit strike of 2005 and reporting around the clock after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A California native, Endo is a second-generation Japanese American and is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.Sandra Endo is a television news correspondent on KTTV Los Angeles, Fox 11 News. Endo covers breaking news and feature reports for Good Day LA. She moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles after spending most of her career on the East Coast. Before making the move back to LA, she worked for CNN based in Washington DC. Her stories have appeared on prime time shows such as AC360 with Anderson Cooper. She also reported on the devastating tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, as well as the international conflicts in Egypt and the U.S involvement in Libya. Prior to joining CNN, Endo was a political reporter, host and anchor for NY1, covering a wide array of campaigns, the transit strike of 2005 and reporting around the clock after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A California native, Endo is a second-generation Japanese American and is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
10:30am - 12:15pm
Japanese Taiko Drumming
Soh Daiko was established as the first taiko drumming group on the East Coast in 1979 under the guidance of the New York Buddhist Church. Reverend Hozen Seki gave the name “Soh Daiko” which means “peace, harmony, working together.” The group gained early instruction from taiko players who taught basic techniques and philosophy as well as drum building; and later, the group received advanced instruction from Sensei Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko Dojo. Soh Daiko’s current members come from diverse backgrounds and professions. The group’s repertoire includes traditional compositions from Shinto music, adaptations of existing taiko compositions, and original arrangements by its own members. Soh Daiko’s presentation also features movement and choreography, requiring strength, endurance, and energy, making for an exciting performance experience. Soh Daiko has performed at celebrated venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Radio City Music Hall, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Dance Magazine.
NY LICORICE ENSEMBLE
The NY Licorice Ensemble is a New York based clarinet ensemble, featuring 13 of the world's top clarinetists and utilizing various clarinet-family instruments to produce a wide range of sonorities. Many composers have been commissioned to write works expressly for the group and its instrumentation. American Record Guide has called their playing "high level, lively, and impeccably in tune." Founded in 2013 by Ayako Oshima, the group has now performed throughout Japan and United States and released 3 critically acclaimed albums. Highlights include arrangements of famous works by Gershwin, such as Summertime and Rhapsody in Blue, as well as the arrangements of Japanese children's songs featured on Warabe-Uta Remix. http://licoriceensemble.com
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION KYOKUSHINKAIKAN
The International Karate Organization (IKO) Kyokushinkaikan is the worldwide governing body for KYOKUSHIN™ Karate, with schools in 120 countries and over 10 million members. Kyokushin Karate NY is an IKO-Direct Branch with 3 locations in the Tri-State area. With programs for all ages and abilities, KYOKUSHIN stresses the basics of practical training in order to prepare students to avoid conflict, as in the Way of Budo, the honor code of the Samurai. The philosophy of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan is to contribute to society through international exchange and education of youth, to impart an appreciation for life and humanity. The ultimate goal of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan is to advance World Peace.
Japanese Taiko Drumming & Dance
COBU, based in New York City, was created as a Live Rhythm Performing Arts Group in 2000. Yako Miyamoto, the founder of Cobu, is a veteran member of the Off-Broadway musical STOMP. COBU combines elements of the Japanese traditional Taiko drumming with NY style street dancing. COBU’s motto is ‘Dance like Drumming, Drum like Dancing,’ inspired by the combined sounds of New York and traditional Japanese culture. Their signature sound is created organically through acoustic instruments rather than digital transcription.This juxtaposition of traditional modernity makes COBU a particularly unique and original performing arts group. COBU has been featured in major venues including Madison Square Garden in NYC. Hollywood movie director, Mr. Duane Adler, developed a 3D film based on Yako Miyamoto called “MakeYour Move / COBU 3D” which was released in the USA in 2014.
12:45pm - 2:00pm
J-Pop / Jazz Fusion
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is an 8-piece instrumental band that is dedicated to bringing new perspectives to the world of Japanese music. Featuring blazing brass melodies and chilling saxophone solos, this band fuses its background in jazz improvisation with the catchy and brilliant nature of modern Japanese music to create powerful new versions of J-Pop/J-Rock songs, anime music, and more! The idea was conceived by Grammy-nominated saxophonist, Patrick Bartley (The Chainsmokers, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Wynton Marsalis), who grew up hearing video game and anime soundtracks while simultaneously learning jazz and other American music styles, and had a dream to someday bring those worlds together. The dream now a reality, the J-MUSIC Ensemble has been featured at anime conventions, Japanese culture festivals, and on international television, and continues to put on captivating performances that entertain and educate all at the same time.
HARLEM JAPANESE GOSPEL CHOIR
Harlem Japanese Gospel Choir was established in 1997 and has performed at community centers, hospitals and various churches as a community choir. Members of the choir are comprised of Japanese homemakers, office workers and students who live in NYC. The Choir became the first Japanese to win the “BEST CHOIR Award” at one of the biggest Gospel Festivals in the US in 2010, performed at the NYC Marathon stages, Carnegie Hall, Off Broadway Gospel musicals and featured at the Apollo Theater as a “special guest.” Also they're a part of "NFL Super Bowl Multicultural Choir" at the Madison Square Garden Theater, Times Square Super Bowl Stage, and the Met Life Stadium. The choir has been featured on the NBC Sunday Morning Show, CBS news, in the New York Times, Daily News etc, and Japanese Media. Please enjoy their unique Gospel style singing in English & Japanese!
JAPANESE FOLK DANCE INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK
Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY, Inc was founded in 1992 by Momo Suzuki (teacher and director). The group celebrates and performs in myriad festivals.The group was created to give all the opportunity to enjoy Japanese Dance.Today they will be performing Bonodori, the raucous dance of the summer Bon Festival. New York Ondo led by Momo Suzuki made its World Premiere at Japan Day 2010 and was a great success. It uses the traditional spirit and movements of the Bon Odori dance to celebrate the four seasons in a way that is uniquely New York. New York Ondo features an English verse in the end!
Rock'n'Roll legend Alan Merrill is the composer, original recording artist and the performer of this international hit song, "I Love Rock'n'Roll", with his UK band, Arrows, in 1975.
During the late '60's his Japan residency, he was a model, TV host, the founder of Japan's Glam Rock; released his debut album which he sang in Japanese, and 2nd solo album of his own compositions with one-man performances. He was the only foreigner to had recorded/live performed with Rockabilly 3-Men, performed at Nichigeki Western Carnival, Budoukan, Bampaku, and toured with The Tigers; also had opened act for Jackson 5 at Teikoku-gekijou with his band Vodka Collins which he formed with Hiroshi Oguchi, which Hiroshi Kamayatsu joined. His long-term career also includes '80's world-tours with Rick Derringer, Meatloaf, '90's again with Vodka Collins; releasing solo albums while he performs locally and internationally with his bands and also solo to keep inspiring us today.
2:30pm - 4:00pm
Shinji Harada made his debut in 1977. His first 3 singles, which were released in 3 consecutive months, all ranked in the top 10 simultaneously on the Japanese Billboard. The first album he released ranked number 1 on its first appearance on the Billboard, and Shinji marked his name in the History of Japanese Music as one of the founders of Modern Rock in Japan. He has performed overseas including North America, Europe, and the Philippines, in addition to the United Nations Conference of Disarmament in Mexico, United Nations “High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace” in New York and "The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction" in Sendai, Japan. Shinji also actively worked to spread his belief in "Yamato", the spirit of sharing kindness and loving one another, through his music.
Born in Malaysia, raised in Australia, and living in Los Angeles, Che’Nelle is a truly unique blend of culture and genres, infusing traditional pop with elements of rock, soul, and R&B to incorporate the different cultures that she’s experienced. Discovered on Myspace, quickly signed to Virgin Music and then catapulted into a star in Japan, Che’Nelle quickly became a household name. Hit songs 'Baby I Love You,’ 'Believe,’ and 'Happiness' earning multi platinum certifications has coined Che'Nelle as the "Princess of Love" in Japan. Her songs have been theme songs to films such as "Brave Hearts: Umizaru" and TV Drama "Dear Sister." Che'Nelle is a recipient of 7 gold discs awards, and has lead product campaigns as a brand ambassador for companies such as Coca - Cola, Nivea, and Proactiv. Her next single 'Destiny' releasing on April 28, 2017 is the theme song to TBS TV Drama "Reverse" and is expected to be a huge hit.
Kazunori started tap dancing at the age of 15 and came to NY at the age of 19. He studied with Ted Levy, Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, Barbara Duffy, and Derick K. Grant. He has performed in many New York City downtown clubs, such as The Knitting Factory, Tonic, and recently he performed his solo show at the Blue Note NY. He also performed in Tony Waag’s Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival and was dubbed by The Village Voice as the "Japanese Gregory Hines." In 2006, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." In 2014, He received the Flo-Bert Award, a prestigious award that honors tap dancers for outstanding achievements. In 2008, he opened his first tap dance studio--KAZ TAP STUDIO-- in Japan, and has subsequently taught throughout Japan including in his hometown of Sendai City, site of severe damage in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He most recently won the "Bessie Award 2016" as an "Outstanding Performer."
Kaori Kishitani debuted in 1986 as a lead vocalist of PRINCESS PRINCESS, whose albums and singles, such as “Diamonds” and “Sekai De Ichiban Atsui Natsu” became million-sellers and ranked number one on the Japanese charts. In 1996, PRINCESS PRINCESS disbanded and Kishitani began her solo career in 1997. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, PRINCESS PRINCESS reunited in 2012 to aid the reconstruction efforts of the earthquake by performing at Sendai Sun Plaza Hall, Nippon Budokan, and the Tokyo Dome. In 2014, Kishitani turned her attention to her solo career, and in 2016, she released her original solo album, “PIECE of BRIGHT,” her first in ten years. Her nationwide annual solo tour began in 2013, and Kishitani performed a special concert for her 50th birthday in February 2017. Her 18-city nationwide tour, “Burari Hitori Tabi”, is scheduled for this coming summer.