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Jazz fusion band visits campus April 7

Jazz and world music fusion band Hiroshima will perform at California State University, Monterey Bay’s World Theater on April 7. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

The group was formed in 1974 by keyboardist and saxophonist Dan Kuramoto, his wife June – one of the world’s foremost players of the koto, a Japanese string instrument – and percussionists/taiko players Johnny Mori and Danny Yamamoto.

Its distinctive sound has its roots in East Los Angeles,where Dan Kuramoto grew up. He heard salsa bands playing in the neighborhood dance halls, his grandparents’ Japanese music playing on the home stereo and his brother practicing jazz on the family piano. “It all began to mix together in my head,” he said.

In the three-plus decades since the group was formed, it has blended jazz, pop and rock with traditional Japanese folk music. The resulting sound is a pioneering voice in the world music movement – introducing traditional Japanese instruments to a global audience. And selling more than 3 million albums in the process.

“We’ve always stood apart from other instrumental groups by taking the graceful classical sound of the koto and experimenting with varying American musical idioms around that,” Dan Kuramoto said.

Beyond touring with such greats as Miles Davis, Hiroshima’s members have done some interesting projects. Three of them played on the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated film “The Thin Red Line,” and Dan Kuramoto has scored more than 50 plays, films and TV shows. He served as musical arranger for the L.A. and New York productions of “Zoot Suit.”

Tickets are $40 premium, $29 general; discounts are available for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 582-4580. Driving directions and a campus map are available at

AT A GLANCE • WHAT: Hiroshima jazz and world music fusion band • WHERE: CSUMB’s World Theater on Sixth Avenue • WHEN: 7:30 p.m., April 7 • TICKETS: $40 premium, $29 general, discounts for students and seniors; reserve online at or by calling the box office at 582-4580 • INFORMATION: 582-4580