‘Best of Grateful Crane’ at Toyota Hall

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TORRANCE — The Grateful Crane Ensemble presents “The Best of Grateful Crane” on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center’s Toyota Meeting Hall, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance.

Performed earlier this year as part of Grateful Crane’s 10th anniversary, “The Best of Grateful Crane” features the best American and Japanese songs the ensemble has performed over the past 10 years, including all-time favorites such as “Koko ni Sachi Ari,” “Kawa no Nagare no Youni,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “Star Dust,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

Written by Soji Kashiwagi, the show will feature the singing of Jason Fong, Haruye Ioka, Keiko Kawashima (also the director), Darrell Kunitomi, Kurt Kuniyoshi, Aimee Machida, Merv Maruyama, Mary Kageyama Nomura, Helen H. Ota and Fusako Shiotani.

The Grateful Crane Youth Group Singers — Aimee Machida, Alyssa Nakamoto, Erika Mariko Olsen and Miko Shudo — will also perform.

The Best of Grateful Crane Band features Scott Nagatani (musical director), Danny Yamamoto, Lisa Joe, Dave Iwataki and Gordon Bash.

Grateful Crane is known for such musicals as “The Camp Dance,” “Nikkei Hit Parade,” and “Nihonmachi: The Place to Be.”

“Along with these songs, our shows have also featured a powerful message of gratitude to our Nisei and Issei elders, for all they have done to pave the way for us younger generations of Japanese Americans to live a better life in America,” said Kashiwagi.  “After hearing ‘their music’ and receiving our message, we have seen our Nisei walk away from our shows much lighter in step, their faces filled with joy.”

Upcoming shows in the fall series are “The J-Town Jazz Club” on Sunday, Nov. 20, and the second annual Grateful Crane Holiday Show on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the same location and times.

Admission is $40 general, $35 for seniors, students, and groups of 10 or more. Special series rate: $90 for all three shows. Call (310) 995-5841 to make a reservation.

For more information, visit www.gratefulcrane.com.

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