BERKELEY – Continuing a happy tradition that began more than 15 years ago, taiko master Kenny Endo is once again returning this year to headline the entertainment at the 69th annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival on Sunday, May 20, at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way (near Shattuck).
The two-day bazaar and arts festival, which is the major fundraiser for the temple, will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 19, and from 12 noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 20. The entertainment will be from 12 to 5 p.m. on May 20.
The festival will also feature traditional Japanese and Hawaiian foods, children’s games and a silent auction that will include vintage Japanese collectibles, artwork, and sports items.
“This is one of my all time favorite places to perform — it’s a true community event where people have each other’s backs,” Endo said. “The people at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple all work so hard to make the stage, cook the delicious food, provide exhibits and bring in live performances. When I first witnessed this event, it really touched my heart because in my humble opinion, this is what Buddhism is all about; this is what community is all about. A lot of things we’ve lost in our modern convenient world, you can find in that kind of effort and care. It’s a great place to hang out with old friends and meet new ones.”
Endo will perform with three exceptional musicians: from the Bay Area, Mas Koga on saxophone, flute and shakuhachi; from Los Angeles, Abe Lagrimas Jr. on ukulele, vibraphone and drums; and from New York, Sumie Kaneko on shamisen, koto and vocals.
The entertainment, which is free, will also feature Sakura-Ren, a dancing group performing Japanese traditional Awa-Odori dance. Sakura-Ren, formed in October 2013, performs Awa-Odori all over the BayArea, putting on choreographed stage performances accompanied by live instruments and vocals.
Also returning at this year’s festival will be AHAmele, the music ensemble from the Academy of Hawaiian Arts in Oakland. AHAmele performed at the 2013 and 2014 Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festivals. 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 keiki hula (children) will be performing with the AHAmele ensemble.
“We welcome everyone to our 69th annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival,” said Bradley Menda, Berkeley Buddhist Temple president. “We are honored that Kenny Endo continues to return to the Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival — and has been since he first performed in 2002. Please join us for a memorable weekend at the temple.”
For more information, call (510) 841-1356 or visit http://berkeleysangha.org.