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Star-studded Lineup to Join Yu Ooka at the Catalina May 9

Yu Ooka will bring some famous friends to the Catalina on May 9. (Photo by Stephen Linsley)

Guitarist Yu Ooka will host a pre-Mother’s Day concert on Thursday, May 9, and he’ll be bringing along some famous friends.

Legendary jazz and R&B vocalist Barbara Morrison will be featured in the set, on the stage at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood.

Saxophone virtuoso Michael Paulo will join in the fun, as well as Kimo Cornwell, keyboardist from the Grammy-winning fusion pioneer band Hiroshima.

Rounding out the ensemble will be Ernest Tibbs on bass and drummer Land Richards.

A native of Osaka, Ooka cut his teeth performing with artists such as pianist Billy Mitchell, and is a founding member of the fusion Japanese folk music group Minyo Station. He has previously toured Japan with Morrison, to strong reviews and radio play.

Morrison, known as one of the hardest-working performers in jazz, has assembled an impressive resume, working with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Tony Bennett, Keb’ Mo and the Count Basie Orchestra.

One of the most versatile and cosmopolitan saxophonists in pop, soul and contemporary jazz for nearly 35 years, Paulo has added his distinct saxpertise to a virtual who’s who of artists, including Al Jarreau (Paulo’s longest-term touring association), James Ingram, Oleta Adams, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, David Benoit, Carl Anderson, Bobby Caldwell, Johnny Mathis and more.

Paulo’s reputation as the No. 1 Asian American jazz artist continues with each new year. He has also toured extensively in Asia, performing for the sultan of Brunei and the royal family of Thailand. He is also popular in Japan, where he has performed with numerous well-known Japanese artists over the years such as: Namie Amuro, Eikichi Yazawa, Anrie, Mari Ijima, Globe, Atsushi from Exile and more.

The Catalina Bar and Grill is located at 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. For tickets and more information, call (323) 466-2210 or go online to

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