Hiroshima by the Bay


June Kuramoto wowed the audience with her koto skills. (Photo by Cynthia Inouye)

Kenny Endo (Photo by Cynthia Inouye)

BERKELEY — There was a touch of Hiroshima at Berkeley Buddhist Temple’s 62nd annual Satsuki Bazaar and Arts Festival, held May 21 and 22.

June Kuramoto, master kotoist and founding member of the L.A.-based band Hiroshima, was a featured performer along with Kimo Cornwell, Hiroshima’s long-time keyboardist, composer and producer. Their set included some of the band’s popular songs, such as “Another Place” and “Thousand Cranes.”

In addition to her work with Hiroshima, whose latest CD is “Legacy,” Kuramoto has released three solo CDs, including “Under the Stars.”

Kuramoto and Cornwell were joined by taiko master Kenny Endo, founder and artistic of Hawaii’s Taiko Center of the Pacific, who was also last year’s Satsuki Bazaar headliner. He performed with multi-instrumentalist Abe Legrimas Jr. (taiko, drums, ukulele, vibraphone), who is originally from Hawaii and based in L.A.; and Michael Birnbryer on woodwinds.

Endo, whose CDs include “Jugoya,” “On the Way (Michi Yuki),” “Rhythm Summit” and “Honua” (Earth), is a long-time supporter of Berkeley Buddhist Temple, which is celebrating its centennial this year.

Also appearing on the Satsuki Bazaar stage was the Miyagi Ryu Okinawan Dance Group, led by Dr. Wesley Ueunten. John Sasaki of KTVU-TV served as emcee.

The entire Hiroshima band was in the Bay Area over the Memorial Day weekend to play at Yoshi’s Oakland.

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