Darryl Mori

Darryl Mori es un escritor residente en Los Angeles, especializado en artes y en el sector de organizaciones no lucrativas. Ha escrito extensamente para la Universidad de California en Los Angeles y para el Museo Nacional Japonés Americano.

Última actualización noviembre de 2011 

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Soulful Rock: The Music of Visiting Violette

Soulful.

That’s the main word that Glenn Suravech uses when asked to describe the evocative sound of his band’s lead singer.

“You can take a lot for granted,” the guitarist-composer says. “But as we’re finishing our second album I’m reminded about how fortunate we are to have someone with such an incredible voice.”

The band benefiting from that voice is Visiting Violette, which Suravech founded with fellow guitarist Shin Kawasaki and vocalist-songwriter Lee Takasugi. Takasugi’s textured vocals have inspired comparisons to such luminaries as Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs and Martha Davis of The Motels.

“Lee is classically trained in …

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Conjuring Ghosts with Lois-Ann Yamanaka

In 1913 Hawai‘i, three young sisters suffering from tuberculosis are sent to an orphanage. Only one survives—and she finds herself haunted by the ghosts of her siblings.

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In her novel Behold the Many, author Lois-Ann Yamanaka employs an evocative variety of character voices to convey a tale of remorse, abandonment, and family curses.

“I don’t know if this is so much a ghost story as a story with ghosts in it,” Yamanaka says. “There are many other threads in the novel and the story of the ghosts is one of these threads. It is truly a story inspired …

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Allen Say: Music for Alice

“I heard about Alice from a great shiatsu master, a strapping man in his early forties, while he worked on me,” Allen Say recalls. “I had been coaching the shy man in the art of asking women for dates; when he finally did get a date, the woman turned out to be an 87-year-old dancer. That got my immediate attention.”

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For award-winning author and artist Say, the conversation led to an introduction to Alice Sumida, the octogenarian dancer. And the introduction ultimately led to Say’s new children’s book, Music for Alice.

Sumida, as Say learned, grew up …

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Dave Iwataki: Jazzing It Up

“Music is emotion,” says Dave Iwataki.

“My strongest, early influence was Herbie Hancock,” the veteran arranger/composer/keyboardist notes. “I aspired to play, write and evolve like him. I felt he had the gift for putting true emotion into music.”

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For Iwataki, who has collaborated with major artists such as Peabo Bryson, Barry Manilow, Kenny G, The Pointer Sisters, Tom Scott, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Olivia Newton-John, Paul Anka, and The Fifth Dimension, music is also culture.

As an early member of the iconic jazz group Hiroshima, Iwataki broke new ground in cross-cultural contemporary music. While enjoyed by mainstream …

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The Rhythms of Life: Shasta Taiko

“This woman came up to me and said, ‘I don’t know why, but I just burst out crying when you were playing taiko,’” Jeanne Aiko Mercer says.

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“That happens a lot,” the pioneering taiko artist explains. “I think taiko is very healing. It’s a release, and I think people need that in their lives.”

For Mercer and her husband Russel Baba, who founded the renowned Shasta Taiko group in 1985, the thundering rhythms of the taiko drum are more than just music—they’re an affirmation of life.

“The first time I saw a taiko performance, it just blew me away …

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