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Japanese Festival Sounds at Pomona College

From left: Johnny Mori, George Abe and Danny Yamamoto will perform.

CLAREMONT — Pomona College Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies will present Japanese Festival Sounds on Friday, Nov. 3, at Lyman Hall, Thatcher Music Building, Pomona College, 340 N. College Ave., Claremont.

Workshop at 1:30 p.m., followed by a concert 4:30 p.m. Reception to follow the concert.

An amazing fusion of old and new cultures, Japanese Festival Sounds was created by Johnny Mori, musical director of Kinnara Taiko and a former member of the contemporary jazz group Hiroshima. He will be joined by George Abe and Danny Yamamoto.

Providing an introduction to Japanese music and culture, Mori and his company perform on taiko and other ancient and contemporary instruments that vary in size from small handheld implements to drums several feet in diameter. The presentation is a treat for all the senses as this dynamic ensemble thunders through their stunning performance.

Mori is a musician and arts educator/administrator from Los Angeles. For the past 20 years, he has also taught workshops on taiko and Japanese American culture to participants ranging from elementary school to university students. He traveled the globe as a percussionist for the jazz-fusion band, Hiroshima, before retiring in 2003.

Abe is a renowned taiko and flute performer, who was born at Manzanar concentration camp. He is a founding member of Kinnara Taiko, a taiko group based at Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, and remains associated with them today. Abe believes in the influential power of art and the energizing effects of taiko.

Yamamoto is a principal member of Hiroshima, who has enjoyed a lifelong love affair with music. In addition to his work as a drummer, he also plays synthesizers with ‘June Kuramoto and Friends,’ studies drums with renowned drum teacher Freddy Gruber.

Co-sponsored by the Public Events Fund at Pomona College. For more information, contact Lynne Miyake at

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