2010 / Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory to mark 35th anniversary with a charity concert at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Oct 23

Awaya Kai Concert

Mme. Yoko Awaya’s conservatory will present the 35th anniversary koto charity concert on October 23. (Courtesy of the Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory)

Cultural News, 2010 September Issue

The 35th Anniversary Awaya-Kai Koto Charity Concert will take place on Saturday, October 23, at 2:00 p.m. at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

This year’s production will include performances by Mme. Yoko Awaya and members of the Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory as well as several distinguished guest artists and performers.

Mme. Yoko Awaya received her teaching and master’s degree from the famed Michio Miyagi School of Koto in Japan. In 1974, she founded the Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promulgation of koto and shamisen music while enhancing cultural awareness and appreciation.

The concert will feature a special guest artist from Japan, Mme. Senba Kokun.  Mme. Senba is a renowned tsuzumi (Japanese drum) artist and teacher who has conducted workshops and seminars internationally and performs and tours extensively in Japan and the United States.

She will perform a duet with Mme. Awaya of classical pieces from “Rokudan” and “Midare.”

The concert will also feature a variety of music from classical to contemporary and from Western to Japanese.  Pieces include “Sakura New Version” (a dynamic orchestral piece with many guest artists), “A Maiden’s Prayer,” “Medley of Japanese Children’s Songs,” “Okinawa Folk Songs” and “Ponyo on a cliff.”

Additional guest artists include the Sakura Chorus with conductor Miyoko Hataye; Japanese dance performers Bando Mitsuhiro Kai, Bando Hidesomi, and Yonamine Keiko Okinawa Dance Group; Jim Thompson, Shakuhachi; Yoshie Teuffel, flute and shinobue; Tetsuya Nakamura, taiko; Saeko Kujiraoka and Katsuko Teruya, koto.

Bill Crowley will be the Master of Ceremony and will perform Rakugo, traditional Japanese comedy storytelling.

The concert is supported by Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California, Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, Japanese Community Pioneer Center, Dai Nippon Nokai Nanka Shikai, Okinawa Association of America, Inc., LA Tokyokai, Northern California Hyakudokai, Soto Group International, Inc. and LA Kimono Club.

A portion of the net proceeds from this year’s concert will benefit Keiro Senior Healthcare.

The 35th Anniversary Awaya-Kai Koto Charity Concert will be held on Saturday, October 23, at 2:00 p.m. at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90278.

General admission tickets are $25 if purchased in advance or $30 at the door.  Children (5-12 years old) tickets are $10.  Advance tickets are available as follows:

All American Tickets, www.allamerican-tkt.com, (888) 507-3287; Sakuraya, Gardena, (310) 323-7117; Hiromi Komiyama, hiromiko@cox.net; Sawtelle Books, West Los Angeles near Nijiya, (310) 477-8686; Satoe Kamikihara, Orange County, (714) 545-6083; Uyehara Travel, Little Tokyo, (213) 680-2499.

Tickets can also be purchased at the box office on the day of the concert.  For additional information, call (310) 329-5965 or (310) 791-1508.