Taiko Master Kenny Endo Returns to Headline Entertainment at 65th Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival

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Kenny Endo (left) and his ensemble perform at the 2012 Satsuki Bazaar. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Kenny Endo (left) and his ensemble perform at the 2012 Satsuki Bazaar. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

BERKELEY – Taiko master Kenny Endo is returning to headline the entertainment at the 65th annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival on Sunday, May 18, at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple.

The two-day event, which is the major fundraiser for the temple, will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. The temple is located at 2121 Channing Way near Shattuck Avenue.

The entertainment, which will be free, will also feature singer and guitarist Takezo, who will perform rhythm and blues; and AHAmele and keiki hula dancers of the Academy of Hawaiian Arts ensemble.

Returning as host of the event will be Josef Anolin, an Oakland native and stand-up comedian.

“We welcome everyone to our 65th annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival,” said Russell Ware and Sara Jotoku, co-chairs of the bazaar. “We have a great lineup of entertainment, including taiko, hula and blues, and delicious homemade food including sushi, shave ice, steak and loco moco. Please join us for a memorable weekend at the temple.”

For Endo, who is based in Hawaii, headlining the bazaar entertainment is becoming a recurring habit.

“The Satsuki Festival is one of my favorite events to perform at,” Endo said in an email. “Over the years, I’ve performed there four or five times. I always appreciate the temple members coming together to work so hard to make the festival successful every year. There’s a positive feeling of community spirit that’s been lost in most areas. It’s a modern manifestation of true Buddhism.

Endo will perform with a group of renowned musicians: Shoko Hikage on koto; Masaru Koga on reeds; Abe Lagrimas Jr. on vibraphones, ukulele and drums; and Hiroshi Tanaka on percussion.

Acclaimed rhythm and blues singer and guitarist Takezo will be making his first appearance at the festival. The Japanese-born musician has performed with such artists as Elvin Bishop, Angela Strehli, Joe Louis Walker and Norton Buffalo. Takezo will perform with Chris Burns on keyboard and Kedar Ross on bass.

Making a return appearance at this year’s festival will be AHAmele, the music ensemble from the Academy of Hawaiian Arts in Oakland. The ensemble incorporates upbeat strums, ipu drum rhythms, ukulele picking, sweet vocal harmonies and singing parts to arrangements of Hawaiian language songs to make its unique sound. The ensemble regularly performs at festivals and other community events. The keiki (children) hula will be performing with the AHAmele ensemble.

Anolin, the emcee at last year’s festival, is an Oakland native who is a comedian who performs around the country bringing his unique brand of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Performances are on Sunday only, with AHAmele and Keiki Hula dancers at 12:30 p.m., Takezo at 1:45 p.m., and Kenny Endo Ensemble at 3 p.m.

On both days, the bazaar will feature a silent auction, arts and crafts, games for kids, Buddhist literature, and a variety of food, including udon, sushi, Spam musubi, curry rice, hamburgers, Portobello mushroom burgers, Chinese chicken salad, loco moco, kalua pork, barbecue teriyaki steak, Sangha dogs, hot dogs, and shave ice, plus manju, mochi, cookies, cupcakes and other bakery treats.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Women’s Daytime Drop-in Center, a Berkeley nonprofit that provides meals, referral and other support services to homeless women and children.

Parking at Brower Center on Kittridge between Oxford and Shattuck, and at UC Berkeley at Bancroft, Fulton and Durant (hourly rates). The temple is five blocks south of the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

For more information, call (510) 841-1357 or visit http://berkeleysangha.org.

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