Asian Crisis is a world jazz ensemble that began in 1998 as a series of community-building jam sessions in Chinatown, Oakland, Calif. Their goal has been “to create compelling new music that contributes to a pan-Asian/Asian Pacific American political consciousness.”
“We confront a “crisis” of Asian American representation in contemporary arts and culture; of social/political consciousness and visibility, and of Asian stereotypes,” said a statement from the band. “Our music was born of a desire to make sense of who we are as Americans, so far from the land of our ancestors.”
Asian Crisis features performing artists from across the country: Art Hirahara on piano (New York); Jason Jong on gu, taiko, percussion (Sacramento); John Kim on chang-gu (Los Angeles); Masaru Koga on flute, shakuhachi and saxophone (New York); Francis “Kiko” Lacsamana on babandil, electric bass, kubing and kulintang (San Diego), and Meena Makhijani on tabla (Los Angeles).
Larissa Lam and Only Won
Larissa Lam is an award-winning pop, dance and soul-influenced singer and songwriter from Diamond Bar, Calif. Her songs provide inspiring and empowering anthems for people of all backgrounds. Her song “I Feel Alive” won the Hollywood Music in Media Award and Akademia Music Award for Best Dance Song. Named by Singer Universe magazine as one of the “Best Vocalists,” Larissa has captivated audiences across the U.S. at venues such as Staples Center, Dolby Theater, Lincoln Center and the Grammy Museum. Larissa has released four critically acclaimed solo albums of original songs. She has collaborated on these recordings with hit-making producers and musicians such as David Longoria (Sting, George Michael), Robert Eibach (Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande), Tim Schoenhals (Meghan Trainor, Katy Perry) and Derek Nakamoto (Janet Jackson, Keiko Matsui). She is not only an accomplished singer but also a composer for TV, film and video games whose credits include “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “Dance Dance Revolution.”
A UCLA graduate, she began her music career as the CFO of NSoul Records, which led to her stint as one the lead singers of the EDM/gospel group, Nitro Praise. She also previously collaborated with legendary best-selling author C.Y. Lee (Flower Drum Song) on the musical, “Lady of Joy.” Larissa’s songs are featured in the new award-winning PBS documentary, “Far East Deep South,” which she also directed. The film is an eye-opening and poignant film about early Chinese families in Mississippi during segregation. For more info, visit LarissaLam.com
Twitter: @larissalam ~ Instagram: @larissalammusic
Baldwin Chiu aka Only Won is a socially conscious Hip-Hop artist who raps about unconventional subjects like dim sum & thermodynamics. He has garnered millions of views on YouTube with clever video parodies like “I Wanna Be an Engineer,” “Cantonese Boy,” “12 Days of DIM SUM” and “Asian Americans Make History.” His music has been featured in films like “Dead Man Down” starring Colin Farrell and in the hit video game, “Sleeping Dogs.” By blending his background as a mechanical engineer with hip-hop, he became spokesperson for the Intel engineering campaign “Stay With It” Chiu has been featured on NBC News, NPR and other media outlets.
Recently, he produced an award-winning documentary, “Far East Deep South,” about discovering the lost history of his grandfather and the early Chinese immigrants in Mississippi during segregation and the Chinese Exclusion Act. He also hosts the “Love, Discovery and Dim Sum” podcast with his wife, Larissa Lam, discussing an Asian American perspective on race, history and culture. For more info, onlywon.com
Twitter: @onlywon ~ Instagram: @onlywonmc
Kei Lun Martial Arts Lion Dance
Kei Lun Martial Arts is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the cultural legacies of the lion dance, dragon dance, and martial arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. The kei lun is a benevolent mythical creature from Asian folklore. As an adjective, kei lun can be loosely translated as “talented”. Ngaih suht means arts in general. The original intent was for members to practice and teach not only martial arts, but other arts as well.
Charged with this ongoing challenge, members also perform traditional lion and dragon dances.
Founded in 2014, Sakura Ren performs a traditional Japanese dance called Awa Odori at cultural events and festivals in the Bay Area. Awa Odori started more than 400 years ago in Tokushima Prefecture, and its energetic and rhythmic dance has captured many people’s hearts around the world. With passionate musicians and dancers, Sakura Ren is dedicated to promote and preserve Awa Odori and its spirit “celebration of life” for everyone to enjoy.
Wesley Ukulele Band
The Wesley United Methodist Church Ukulele Band, was founded in 2004 for fun and fellowship in San Jose, Calif. They have performed at Wesley Church community functions, sister church events, various Bay Area community events and community service venues. During these Covid times, they had about a dozen folks active through online gatherings, and 30 members connected by social media. They are thrilled to be back live to share their aloha through music.
Members Even after Nice (MEaN)
MEaN (Members Even After NiCE) is a UC Berkeley alumni a cappella group that is based in the Bay Area and sings Japanese and English songs.
Koyasan Spirit of Children Taiko
Koyasan Spirit of Children Taiko Group was founded by Sensei Kaori Sakauye-Kubota in 1993 with the purpose of transmitting the artistic and cultural legacy of traditional Japanese festival percussion through the Northern California Koyasan Temple.
Koyasan’s philosophy is one of self-awareness through effort and perseverance. Emphasis is placed on discipline, focus, individual growth and working with and showing compassion for others.
Currently celebrating their 30th anniversary year, Koyasan continues to provide taiko instruction for students of all ages and abilities, and performs year-round throughout Northern California. Koyasan is honored to perform for audiences at the 11th Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival.