Baachan Kissing Santa Claus?

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Baachan (Mary Nomura) kisses Santa (Ken Takemoto) on the cheek as the Grateful Crane singers watch in amazement. The singers, along with Nomura, will be performing in the “I Saw Baachan Kissing Santa Claus” holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 12, in Torrance. (Photo by Michael Palma)

The Grateful Crane Ensemble (GCE) will be celebrating the season with its first-ever holiday concert and CD launch party on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, Toyota Meeting Hall in Torrance.

Entitled “I Saw Baachan Kissing Santa Claus,” the concert will feature the Scott Nagatani Band and the Grateful Crane holiday singers who will be singing all 20 songs from GCE’s brand new holiday CD.

“This show is kind of like a JA holiday potluck,” said Soji Kashiwagi, executive producer of GCE.  “Everyone in the family brings their best dishes and wishes to the table, and the end result is something everyone enjoys. In that sense, holiday cheer is what we’ll be serving — in abundance.”

Holiday favorites performed during the show include “White Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Silent Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “I Saw Baachan Kissing Santa Claus,” “The Christmas Song,” “Grown-up Christmas List” and more.  Grateful Crane’s Kurt Kuniyoshi will also sing the theme song from the popular Korean drama “Winter Sonata” in Korean, English and Japanese,

Performers in the show include:  Kerry Keiko Carnahan, Jason Fong, Loryce Hashimoto, Haruye Ioka, Lisa Joe, Keiko Kawashima, Hideo Kimura, Darrell Kunitomi, Kurt Kuniyoshi, Aimee Machida, Merv Maruyama, Helen Ota, Michael Palma, Fusako Shiotani and special guest star Mary Kageyama Nomura, the Songbird of Manzanar.

The Scott Nagatani Band includes Nagatani on piano, Danny Yamamoto on drums/percussion, Gordon Bash on bass, and Lisa Joe on keyboards.

After the concert, attendees will have an opportunity to purchase the CD and meet the cast and musicians.

The Toyota Meeting Hall at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center is located at 3330 Civic Center Drive in Torrance.  Plenty of free parking is available.  General admission tickets for the concert are $25.  For a group of ten or more, tickets are $22.

For reservations, call the Grateful Crane hotline at (323) 769-5503. Leave a message and someone will call you back.

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