SAN FRANCISCO — An explosion of colorful artists and pop culture music, fashion, art, and film takes over San Francisco when the 2011 J-Pop Summit Festival is held the city’s Japantown. The annual event is newly expanded to two days and will take place Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27- 28.
The weekend-long festival is highlighted by live bands and DJs, fashion shows, a vocaloid music conference, several theatrical film premieres, dance workshops and performances, and assorted arts, crafts and food vendors. New People, the dynamic entertainment destination showcasing the latest examples of Japanese popular culture, welcomes several guests of honor to this year’s J-Pop Summit.
The first J-Pop Summit was held in 2009 to celebrate the opening of New People at 1746 Post St.
A dedicated web site with full details and event schedules is now available at http://www.newpeopleworld.com/festival-2011/about/.
Saturday, Aug. 27
Girls Rock Explosion! Day 1
Bay Area and Japanese musicians rock the Pagoda Stage in Japantown’s Peace Plaza.
• Layla Lane is a cross-cultural rock duo combining exquisite arrangements and clever harmonies for a style that is equal parts 1960′s pop, gypsy swing, and rock. Layla Lane is fronted by guitarist Heday from Shizuoka and Los Angeles-born pianist Valerie Stern.
• The Patsychords are a Pasty Cline Tribute band that will rock the Girls Rock Explosion 2011 with their brand of smooth rockabilly country and a tribute to Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” song (“Ue o Muite Arukou” in Japan).
• Sou・Sou Fashion Show. Hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and designed and produced by Takeyuki Wakabayashi from Kyoto, Sou・Sou’s first U.S. fashion show will showcase New People and Sou・Sou’s new clothing line collaboration. Enjoy the art of modern designs meeting traditional craftsmanship in an innovative style of Japanese tabi shoe and clothing.
• h. NAOTO Fashion Show. Designer Naoto Hirooka (aka h. NAOTO) attends the 2011 J-Pop Summit to preview the opening of his first U.S. flagship store on New People’s Fashion Floor on Oct. 7.
• Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Fashion Contest. Lolitas! Fashionistas! Boys and girls! This year, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and Animation on Display co-host a circus-inspired, over-the-top Lolita fashion contest.
• “Gantz II: Perfect Answer” (San Francisco premiere). How will we face the end? The two-part film series meets its kinetic conclusion in “Gantz II” with a gripping storyline yet to be known even to readers of the manga series.
• “Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal” (U.S. premiere). Based on the manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, “Rurouni Kenshin” follows Kenshin Himura, a highly skilled swordsman and his journey across Japan during the Meiji era.
• “K-ON! Anime Vol.3” premiere and mini-concert. Enjoy a mini live event by the “K-ON!” English voice cast and the premiere of the third volume of the anime series. The story revolves around four Japanese high school girls who join the Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School’s light music club to try to save it from being disbanded.
• Tokyo Freshly Squeezed: Hottest Music Videos from Japan. Music On! TV (www.m-on.jp) from Japan will feature the hottest J-pop bands and artists performing visual kei, J-rock, anime songs, and more to be screened with New People cinema’s THX sound system. Attendees for VIP party at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 at New People will be all invited to this event. VIP party tickets are on sale at: http://j-popsummit03.eventbrite.com.
Dance and DJ Events
• Danceroid performance. Danceroid is a group of four girls that have become an international musical dance sensation with their performances choreographed to popular vocaloid songs. The group’s videos have been played more than 100 million times online.
• Miku Mix DJ Battle. L.A. meets Tokyo in San Francisco! DJ Amaya and Zaneeds, who rocked out thousands of fans at the Nokia Theater during this year’s Anime Expo, will join together on the J-Pop Summit’s Pagoda Stage to take turns mixing up some mean Hatsune Miku vocaloid remixes!
Sunday, Aug. 28
Vocaloid Conference: The Voice of Future Music
Brian Zisk (executive producer, SF Music Tech Summit), Zaneeds (vocaloid music creator), and Danceroid (vocaloid music dance unit) will discuss the creative explosion caused by Internet platforms and vocaloid idols like Hatsune Miku, and how it’s affecting the future of music. Also see Zaneeds and Danceroid behind-the-scenes footage.
• Vocaloid Dance Workshop. Vocaloid music dance sensation Danceroid will teach audiences one of their very own dance routines. Contestants of the Vocaloid Dance Contest are welcome to participate. Winners will perform on the Pagoda Stage with Danceroid.
• Vocaloid Dance Contest. Vocaloid fans hit the stage to dance and lip-sync in front of a huge audience. Animation on Display is the host and guest performers Danceroid will judge the performances.
Girls Rock Explosion! Day 2
• The Bayonettes are presented by the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. The teen duo will deliver their sweet acoustic set, including a version of Japan’s No. 1 punk rock song, “Linda Linda!”
• SpacEKrafT is a performance group that re-creates a futuristic interactive travel environment complete with flight attendants, ground crew, video projections, sound chairs, interactive music equipment, personality feedback station and interactive art.
• Emi Meyer is a jazz-inspired pop musician born in Kyoto and raised in Seattle. Her bicultural heritage has shaped the unique jazz-inspired pop sound heard on her three albums. With the release of her first album, “Curious Creature,” Meyer was invited to perform at the Sundance Film Festival and shot to No. 1 on the Japanese jazz charts.
Come check out a live show by the English voice actresses from anime “K-ON!” Yui (Stephanie Sheh), Mio (Cristina Vee), Ritsu (Cassandra Lee), Mugi (Shelby Lindley), and Azusa (Christine Marie Cabanos) all will rock out with full-gear on the Pagoda Stage.
• h.NAOTO Tokyo Collection film screening. Enjoy h.NAOTO’s fashion on the big screen. For customers who purchase over $100 at the h.NAOTO pop-up-shop inside the New People Fashion Floor. Designer Naoto Hirooka will appear for an after-screening Q&A session.
• “Documentary of AKB48: To Be Continued … ” (U.S. premiere). Don’t miss this documentary following the unstoppable all-female Japanese idol group AKB48. With their ever-growing popularity and success, this is a must-see for fans. The footage sheds a light on AKB48’s struggle, joy, growth, and dream.
Other Events and Performances (Saturday and Sunday)
• Ken Hamazaki returns for the second year in a row to perform his avant-garde Red Tea Ceremony on the festival grounds.
• Estria Foundation presents Mike “Bam!” Tyau (rhymes with “meow”), who has been creating graffiti art since 1983 during the NYC B-boy era. On Sunday, watch him paint live graffiti art all day in the Peace Plaza. The artwork will be silent-auctioned to raise funds for Japan.
• Fortune Telling by Hoshi from “not for sale.” Translating ancient Eastern knowledge and languages to suit our modern lives, Hoshi reads over 2,000 fortunes per year in the Tokyo area. He comes to the J-Pop Summit to read the fortunes of attendees.