A Set List of Decades


Hiroshima (from left, Kimo Cornwell, Dean Cortez, Dan Kuramoto, June Kuramoto and Danny Yamamoto) will bring nearly 40 years of their groundbreaking sound to The Rose in Pasadena on Oct. 6. (Photo by Jaimee Itagaki)


As they approach 40 years into their career, no one’s yet been able to match the signature sound of the Asian-influenced jazz band Hiroshima.

Featuring the extraordinary koto virtuoso June Kuramoto — noted by bassist Stanley Clarke as the world’s greatest — the ensemble seamlessly integrates traditional Japanese instruments into its smooth-as-silk blend of R&B, pop, rock, funk, salsa and world music.

They’ve toured with Miles Davis, had several Grammy nominations and multiple gold records — selling over 4 million worldwide — and continue to tour and produce truly innovative music.

With a rare L.A. area appearance, Hiroshima brings a brand new show, including songs from keyboard wiz Kimo Cornwell’s new CD, “Hawaii State of Mind,” and Kuramoto’s “Under the Stars,” and a hip selection of tunes from the band’s 23 CDs, plus a special guest or two.

“We look back and realize that we’ve covered a lot of ground in nearly 40 years,” band co-founder Dan Kuramoto told The Rafu. “We see music as a dynamic art form, and for us and hopefully our community, we evolve but continue the arc of our cultures — as Asians and Americans. Right now we live in a dangerous time and at some point in every show we try to address it as people of color and as musicians led by a phenomenal woman artist. We wear our colors proudly.”

Kuramoto added that the group keeps copies of every set list they play, to ensure varying the set each time they return to a city or venue.

“That’s where the luxury of having so many songs, or a ‘book’ as we call it, really helps,” he explained.