Eden Aoba Taiko
Eden Aoba Taiko was formed in 1997 to promote the Japanese music art of taiko drumming under the direction of Masa Fukuizumi. The group started with six people and increased to 50 by the end of the year. Members’ ages range from 6 years old to more than 80. They believe that taiko is for everyone, no matter what your age.
Eden Aoba Taiko’s philosophy is to have a fun drumming and enhance self-expression, self-esteem, and self-confidence. It is also their goal to enrich disciplines such as respect, harmony, and unity through drumming with others.
Learning taiko takes a time. There are no short cuts or simply ways. It is very similar to life; ups and downs, bends and straights. It requires patience. Taiko is a mental training with physical strength. So long as you practice, you will get better; and then comes fun.
Lion Dance ME
Lion Dance ME specializes in lion and dragon dance. Lion Dance ME has taken a traditional and cultural art, and fused it into a modern entertainment company. Since their run on “America’s Got Talent,” they have worked hard in the community to help youths through lion dance. They now offer programs at eight different public school systems in San Francisco ranging from elementary to high school students. Classes are also open the public on Saturdays at Willie Woo Playground in Chinatown.
Parangal Dance Company
Parangal Dance Company is a Filipino folk dance group based in the San Francisco Bay Area that “aspires to inspire.” Parangal Dance Company’s mission is to give tribute to Philippine heritage by preserving and promoting ethnic attire, music, and dance through research, workshops and performances. They aim to serve as a bridge, inspiring and connecting Filipino Americans to their roots to give them a sense of pride and identity, while educating diverse communities to foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine culture. Parangal Dance Company presents “Alamat, Legends” — a cultural presentation about the legends in the Philippines — Sat., Oct. 3, 2015, 2 p.m., at the Skyline College Theater in San Bruno. For more info: http://alamat.eventbrite.com.
Curt Yagi & the People Standing Behind Me
San Francisco based singer songwriter Curt Yagi has been on a tear through the Bay Area music scene. The 2008 Best of the Bay Singer Songwriter (SF Bay Guardian) and RAW San Francisco Musician of the Year had his song “Sweep Me” included on the very popular KFOG Local Scene 8 CD in the Bay Area.
His songs are delivered in an inimitable and endearingly charismatic persona the SFBG describes as “the swagger of Lenny Kravitz and the lyrical prowess of Jack Johnson,” and The San Francisco Chronicle called Yagi “a talented songwriter who sings — like Kenny Loggins.”
Best of all, Ben Fong-Torres, former Rolling Stone Senior Editor, had this to say, “People keep comparing him to other artists, but I think he just sounds like Curt Yagi, and that is plenty good enough. This is one excellent singer and songwriter.”
Berkeley Genyukai is an Okinawan music and dance ensemble that was established in 2000. While it started out performing traditional Okinawan music and dance at Okinawan community events in the Bay Area, Genyukai has performed at numerous events in the larger Japanese American community such as at the San Francisco Day of Remembrance, the National Japanese American Historical Society fundraisers, the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and the Nihonmachi Street Fair. Genyukai has also performed at events in other communities such as at the Medicine Warriors Pow Wow in Oakland, San Francisco Chinatown Moon Festival and the Gay Pride Parade.
CryWolffs: The Bay Area Urbalinist
CryWolffs is a classically trained violinist from San Mateo, Calif. By mixing his love of contemporary music, violin, and technology, he has created a unique urban sound that he has brought to stages across California and beyond. He has performed on television and on the radio and has competed in competitions such as MYX TV Press Play, Battle Among Talents and Kollaboration SF. Morphing classical technique into contemporary music, he is the Bay Area Urbalinist. This is CryWolffs’ second appearance at the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival.
Nikkei Choral Ensemble
Nikkei Choral Ensemble (NiCE) is a co-ed singing/instrumental group born in 2010 from UC Berkeley’s Nikkei Student Union. NiCE is a group of fun-loving people who enjoy singing, making music, and being up to all other sorts of shenanigans. Members Even after NiCE (MEaN) is the alumni group of NiCE. MEaN mainly performs at community events in both the Bay Area and in Southern California. At the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, subsets of NiCE and MEaN are joining forces to create a special group to perform a few songs.
Cal Raijin Taiko
In the Spring of 2005, a small-but-committed group of students pooled together their resources and formed UC Berkeley’s first taiko group. Since then, Cal Raijin Taiko has gone on to become Berkeley’s premier Japanese drumming performance ensemble. With a repertoire consisting entirely of original compositions, Cal Raijin Taiko performs to spread the knowledge, love, and passion of taiko to both the campus and the surrounding communities.
In the decade since its inception, the members of Cal Raijin Taiko have composed over a dozen unique and vibrant songs, and performed for scores of audiences large and small. Their alumni have spread throughout the country, many of them founding entirely new taiko groups in the cities where they settle.
Abraham Lincoln Lion Dance Club
The Abraham Lincoln Lion Dance Club is an individual branch that extends from the Hung Xing group. Their master, Ho Wa, restarted this club about six to seven years ago. Since then they’ve performed at various places such as: multiple schools, events, parades, company buildings, shops, etc. The club contains 10 members, some being seniors and others being juniors or sophomores at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. They all meet two times a week for practices. Although they specialize in lion dancing, they also learned kung fu and weapon usage.