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Tribute to Nisei Veterans by Asian American Orchestra

Anthony Brown (center) and the Asian American Orchestra

SAN FRANCISCO — “We Are All Americans! Tribute to Nikkei Veterans” will take place the MIS Historic Learning Center, 640 Old Mason St. in the Presidio of San Francisco, on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.

A free public ceremony will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Mike Inouye of NBC 11 as the emcee and 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran Lawson Sakai as keynote speaker.

The program will include the premiere of “Go For Broke! A Salute to Nisei Veterans,” which will be the centerpiece of a musical presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 in 1942, which forced over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry into desolate internment camps until the end of World War II. “Go For Broke!” honors the courageous Nisei soldiers who fought on the battlefields of Europe while their families were imprisoned.

Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra has performed throughout the Bay Area and the U.S. at jazz festivals, including San Francisco, Chicago, and Monterey; at educational institutions, including San Francisco and Long Beach State Universities, multiple campuses of the University of California, and the universities of Washington (Seattle), Arizona (Tucson), Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and Kentucky (Lexington); and at concert venues, including Yoshi’s and Stern Grove in San Francisco, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.

Depending on the repertoire performed, the AAO ranges in size from nine to 16 performers, with a core ensemble of five charter members. This weekend’s performers: Anthony Brown, drums, percussion, director; Naoko Amemiya, taiko, percussion; Ian Carey, trumpet; Shoko Hikage, koto, voice; Mark Izu, bass, sho (mouth organ); Masaru Koga, saxophones, shakuhachi; Brendan Liu, trumpet; Frank Martin, piano; Jimi Nakagawa, taiko, percussion; Brenda Wong Aoki, voice.

They will be joined by Janice Mirikitani, former poet laureate of San Francisco and author of “Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called Glide.”

For more information, call (415) 921-5007 or visit

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