By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS
Rafu Entertainment Editor
Dan Kuramoto, one of the founding members of the band Hiroshima, just can’t resist a bargain. The saxophonist was so busy taking advantage of pre-Christmas sales that he nearly missed some colossal news.
“I was at Macy’s, shopping for presents for the band, and I started getting a bunch of calls and text messages, and I thought ‘What’s going on?'”
Kuramoto was in the mall, not at home in front of the TV, so he was unaware that his band had earned its second nomination for a Grammy Award, for their 17th album, “Legacy,” which celebrates Hiroshima’s 30 years in music.
“Legacy” is nominated in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, along with The Rippingtons, Sypro Gyra, Chris Botti and Booker T. Jones. The nod marks only the second time an Asian American band his been up for a Grammy; the first was–who else–Hiroshima, for their 1980 track, “Winds Of Change.”
Kuramoto said he and some of his band mates, who are Recording Academy members, were so unaware of their being considered that they didn’t even vote for themselves in the early balloting.
“We didn’t know we were nominated, so we didn’t even vote in that category,” he admitted.
Hiroshima makes its seasonal return to Little Tokyo this Saturday, for their Spirit of the Season holiday concert at the Aratani Japan America Theatre, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. The concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m., will feature Christmas songs and Hiroshima favorites including songs from “Legacy,” as well as performances from several guest performers.
Following the concert, Hiroshima members will be available to autograph CDs at special Holiday Package prices. The topic of the moment is certain to center around the Grammy happenings.
“Our whole goal from Day 1 was to give this country a sense of Asian American presence and culture, and to dignify our people as well as our band,” Kuramoto said. “It’s very gratifying to receive regocnition from our industry peers, and we see this as a project of a community and culture, so anything we gain in terms of recognition of community is a success for all of us.”
Asked if he expects to wait another 30 years for the next Grammy nomination, Kuramoto laughingly barked, “Let’s hope not!”
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Hiroshima’s “Spirit of the Season” concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Aratani Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo. Tickets $36, $33 for Seniors, Students and groups. Call the box office at (213) 680-3700 to charge by phone or buy tickets online at www.jaccc.org. More information about Hiroshima, including CD sales, is online at hiroshimamusic.com and Amazon.com.