We are proud to announce an exciting entertainment lineup for the seventh annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, which will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street (at Geary Boulevard) in San Francisco. From breakout national stars like spoken word poetry / hip-hop act G Yamazawa from North Carolina and ukulele virtuoso Aidan James from Hawai‘i, to emerging artists with debut albums like singer-songwriter MJ Lee. and Trace Repeat, an Oakland-based Asian American funk band that defies stereotypes, the day is balanced by outstanding cultural performances such as the iconic San Jose Taiko, Parangal Dance Company (Filipino dance) and Chung Ngai Dance Troupe (lion dancing).
See more about our exciting entertainment lineup below:
G Yamazawa is a National Poetry Slam Champion and MC born and raised in Durham, N.C. He is a Kundiman Fellow, Team Backpack Finalist, and has toured more than 150 colleges both domestic and internationally. His work has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the Pentagon, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and for the White House Initiative. His debut album “Shouts to Durham” is now available on all major streaming platforms.
Aidan James is a 15 year-old, award-winning singer-songwriter, originally from Hawai‘i now living in California. He started playing the ukulele at age 4 and singing came naturally helping him overcome a speech impediment. Although the ukulele is mainly known for Hawaiian music, Aidan has taken it to a different level infusing its sound into pop, rock and contemporary music.
At ages 13 and 14, Aidan was nominated for the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano award (“Hawaii’s Grammy’s”). His first full-length album, “Echoes,” was released in 2015 and the single from his album, “The Girl on the TV Screen,” took first place in the ISC 2015, Pop/Top 40 category. Aidan made history being the youngest artist ever to be honored for these accolades.
Aidan has toured with Train and recently opened for Michael Bolton. He has performed all over the world including Tahiti and Japan and is currently working on his new album to be released later this year.
Aidan proudly rocks a Kamaka Ukulele.
Trace Repeat is an Oakland-based six-piece soul and funk band. “We do it dirty, and we make it look sexy,” the band says. “We believe in reviving the aesthetics of our Motown forefathers, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the tempting Temptations.”
Trace Repeat – NPR Tiny Desk Contest 2017
Since 1973, San Jose Taiko (SJT) has been mesmerizing audiences with the powerful, spellbinding, and propulsive sounds of the taiko. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, SJT has broadened this historical art form into a style that joins traditional rhythms with other world and contemporary music, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin, jazz and hip hop, bridging many styles.
San Jose Taiko members perform nationally and internationally in concerts, residencies, and festivals. The group composes original works, and has collaborated in joint concerts with internationally renowned performing artists including local groups, Abhinaya Dance Company of SJ and the Bangerz.
San Jose Taiko leads workshops, and classes for all ages and levels across the country through nationally recognized programs like the highly acclaimed tour residencies and the Junior Taiko program.
More information can be found at taiko.org.
MJ Lee. is a heartfelt indie pop/rock musician who crafts songs that are sincere, melodic, and alive. The Bay Area-based singer-songwriter combines honest, poetic lyrics with pop sensibilities and an expansive, imaginative sonic palette. Her sound draws from a wide range of influences, from the melancholic rock of Jimmy Eat World to the lush soundscapes of Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi.
With her debut release, “The Lights Ahead,” Lee. showcases her ability to write memorable anthems and weave them into compelling narratives. The six-song concept album tells the story of her artistic coming-of-age and the transformation of a creative vision into lived reality.
A self-taught songwriter who has played the violin since childhood, Lee. strives to write music that is emotionally resonant and probes the depths and heights of human experience. The period at the end of Lee. signifies the abbreviation of her last name and signifies “the parts of ourselves that don’t show on the surface but that we carry with us nonetheless.”
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. The group aims 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.
Established in 1966, Chung Ngai Dance Troupe is a nonprofit Chinese performing arts organization. Our mission is to promote and preserve Chinese culture in the United States through performing arts. In addition, Chung Ngai offers opportunities for members and volunteers alike to participate in events such as the Chinese New Year parade. In the process, participants learn about Chinese culture and gain experience in performing arts. Chung Ngai is an organization run solely by our members. Since the 1970’s, Chung Ngai has been a staple unit of the Southwest Airlines’ Lunar New Year Parade.