Legendary Band Hiroshima Kicks Off 40th-Year Tour in Northern California

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From left: Dean Cortez, Danny Yamamoto, June Kuramoto, Kimo Cornwell, Land Richards, Dan Kuramoto. (Photo by Ken Fong)

Hiroshima makes two Northern California appearances in April to kick off their 40th-year tour.

They travel to the World Theatre at CSU Monterey Bay on Saturday, April 13, and The Sofia, Home of B Street, on Sunday, April 14.

Dan Kuramoto, the band’s leader, stated, “September1979 we released our first record album on Arista, cleverly titled, ‘Hiroshima.’ Most on our label scoffed at us making a record. They said, ‘Asians don’t sing, and Asians don’t dance.’ BUT the new vice president of Arista, Larkin Arnold, believed in us, believed that musical diversity was not only possible, but also profitable.  We ended our first year as Billboard’s ‘Breakout Artist of the Year.’ (I will go into this with more depth next month on our website blog at hiroshimamusic.com.)

“2019? Guess it has been 40 years. Amazing, and we are still here. Thanks to you all. Along the way we’ve garnered many awards including Grammy noms, gold records — a ton of lifetime achievement awards — but the main reason we are still around is because of you.

“You can’t imagine how much it touches us that so many have told us how ‘A Thousand Cranes’ has changed their life, or how ‘One Wish’ is STILL their favorite song.

“That 38 years ago when we first played Howard University in D.C., that night was transformative both musically, culturally and spiritually for all of us there. That our ohana in Hawaii has supported us through thick and thin.

“When we played the North Sea Jazz Festival in Capetown, South Africa, no journalist interviewed us — we started our set at the big outdoor stage with only a few hundred in attendance. And by the end of the show there were over 10,000.

“I remember the brotherhood with a remarkable band from Durban, doing Indian/African music, waiting hours to talk to us, to share the vibe of multicultural art and culture. A bond.

“So, two years ago we thought maybe we are done. We’ve had a great run. Impossible, really — after all this time, how many Asian American bands are on the  musical landscape of this country? In our over 20 albums, we continue to explore musically and spiritually, and we know that makes for a real challenge to our audience. We like to think we continue to evolve. One thing for sure — when we stop evolving we will be done.

“So, this year we are planning to start a 40th anniversary tour. More a celebration of you and all those who asked, ‘What’s a Hiroshima?’ (June has a great story regarding that question and Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius, who long ago were curious enough to walk into the Roxy in Hollywood to hear us!) This ‘tour’ sort of starts this spring and will likely run into the fall of 2020 or so.

“It will be different. A longtime member of our Hiroshima family will join us on drums — the incredible Land Richards. So what about Danny [Yamamoto]? He’s going to shift over to taiko, percussion and keyboards. This allows us to enlarge and embellish the material and keep the vibe intact. We are currently working on a new record. This should be ready by the fall. (BTW isn’t it a trip that new cars don’t even have CD players in them?)

“If you’re wondering how all this is going turn out, so are we. It’s challenging and rejuvenating all at the same time. I think this will be worth checking out.”

Northern California Appearances

Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m.

World Theater – California State University, Monterey Bay 
100 Campus Center, Seaside
https://csumb.edu/worldtheater/events/hiroshima

Sunday, April 14, at 7 p.m.
The Sofia, Home of B Street!

2700 Capitol Ave., Sacramento
Box Office: (916) 443-5300, Monday-Saturday
https://bstreettheatre.org/buy-tickets/?show_id=26706

Additional Tour Dates in April 

Friday, April 19, at 8 p.m.
The Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts 

430 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C.
https://www.blumenthalarts.org/visiting/levine-center-for-the-arts/knight-theater

Saturday, April 20, at 8 p.m.

Detroit Opera House 
1526 Broadway, Detroit, Mich.
With Boney James and Norman Brown

https://www.broadwayindetroit.com/plan-your-visit/detroit-opera-house

Sunday, April 21, at 5 and 9:30 pm.

Louisville Breckinridge Inn 
2800 Breckenridge Ln., Louisville, Ky.

http://www.breckinridgeinn.com/

For a complete schedule, visit www.hiroshimamusic.com.

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