This year’s event will be take place at Carnelian by the Bay, at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza.
Entertainment will take place on two stages with performances by popular Bay Area acts Jest Jammin’, ScoJourners and Joyo Velarde.
In addition, there will be cultural activities including an interactive mochi pounding demonstration by Kagami Kai and hands-on origami-making activity by Linda Mihara, who was a popular highlight of last year’s event.
A silent auction and raffle will also be a part of the evening’s festivities. Prizes include two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines, Highway 12 Wine Package and a $300 gift certificate from Gallery of Jewels.
Sponsors of “Sansei Live! by the Bay” include Ben and Mary Ishisaki, California Pacific Medical Center, Wells Fargo Foundation, AT&T, Pacific Gas & Electric, KTSF-TV and Comcast.
General admission is $75, with all proceeds going to benefit the work of Kimochi. To order online, visit www.kimochi-inc.org.
Led by the Rev. Norman Fong, Jest Jammin’ — aka “Chinatown Soul Band” — has been performing live for over 40 years and continues to enjoy popularity among a faithful, enthusiastic public. They are the last of the local Chinatown bands from the ’60s and ’70s and perform their wide repertoire of music from that soulful period, incorporating tunes from more recent decades.
The band is “homegrown.” In 1968, Fong, Brad Lum and Ed Toy got together with friends and formed a band that was unnamed until 1971 when they added more members and officially called themselves Jest Jammin’. They regularly perform on stages throughout Northern California and are especially pleased to be performing at this year’s “Sansei Live!”
These long-time friends, all San Francisco born and raised, have been making music together since 2001. Their collaboration brings together an eclectic flow of rhymes and beats that is also reflective of their Asian heritage and the Bay Area hip-hop culture. ScoJourners has performed and collaborated with artists such as Zion-I, San Quinn, and Equipto, and has performed throughout California and the Western states. They regularly tour Japan. While their travels take them far afield, they continuously give back to Bay Area community organizations and generously support Kimochi seniors.
Originally from Manila, Joyo Velarde studied opera in Rome before returning to Northern California and attending UC Davis. There she met her husband, rapper Lyrics Born. The two have recorded music ever since, starting with the hit song “Balcony Beach,” which appeared on the debut album by Latyrx (the hip-hop duo of Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker). In 2002 she recorded her first solo single, “Sweet Angels,” which was a hit for the young singer as well as the Quannum label. Her debut album, “Love and Understanding,” was released in 2010.
Heavy touring gave her the opportunity to hone her vocal and performance skills and also expand her base of loyal listeners throughout the U.S., Australia, Europe and Japan. She has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” been featured on over 20 albums and has co-written10 songs, including “Callin’ Out,” which has been featured on commercials for Diet Coke and Motorola.
Velarde is very excited to perform for the “Sansei Live!” audience. “I can honestly say that one of the things I love so much about the Asian culture is our genuine respect for our elders,” she says. “My grandmother came from the Philippines to help my parents raise my brother and me. She was the one who first introduced me to playing the piano and voice as she would daily play and sing songs she learned as a girl. I will always consider her a role model. In her honor, I named my music publishing handle after her, Macaria Music.”
Kagami Kai is a mochitsuki (traditional Japanese rice cake making) group based out of San Francisco. It was founded 20 years ago when a few of members missed the taste of fresh mochi and decided to start making it themselves – pounding the rice to the beat of taiko drums. They eventually evolved into a performing group dedicated to preserving the community, traditions and camaraderie of mochitsuki.
For over 20 years, Linda Mihara has pioneered the “art of one thousand cranes,” known in Japan as sembazuru. Her custom designs include traditional family crests, modern kimonos, fans, and waves. As an accomplished teacher of origami, she is highly sought after to teach at festivals and events around the world. She recently partnered on a ground-breaking commercial for Mitsubishi Motors, which shows the Endeavor driving through a magical world of origami.
About Kimochi Inc.
This year is a special one for Kimochi, which is celebrating 40 years of service to Bay Area seniors. Since 1971, Kimochi has provided culturally sensitive, Japanese language-based programs and services to 3,000 seniors and their families each year. Services include transportation; referral and outreach services; health and consumer education seminars; healthy aging and senior center activities; social services; congregate and home-delivered meals; in-home support services; adult social day care; 24-hour residential and respite care.
Like other social service organizations, Kimochi has been affected by the increasingly tentative and unreliable nature of government funding. The organization has made hard adjustments to absorb city funding cuts while protecting the quality of programs and services. Kimochi increasingly relies on its donors and supporters, who join the organization in providing the network of services that allow the community’s elderly to live with dignity and independence.
In addition, Kimochi maintains an active volunteer program consisting of approximately 200 volunteers who assist staff at four different program sites in San Francisco’s Japantown, with services being introduced to the San Mateo area.
For more information, visit the website.