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Asian-American Jazzers Excited For Club Gigs

Of the Oakland Press

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The Los Angeles Asian-American jazz group Hiroshima is a regular visitor to the Detroit area, but co-founder Dan Kuramoto is particularly excited about this weekend’s stop, a twonight stand at Arturo’s Jazz Theater in Southfield.

“We haven’t played a club in Detroit for a long, long time,” says Kuramoto, who put Hiroshima together in 1974 with his now ex-wife (but still bandmate) June Okida Kuramoto. “We generally play outdoors at (Chene Park), which is much bigger, of course.

“We don’t often get to play Detroit in a small venue like this, so we’ve been psyching up and rehearsing a small venue kind of show. It has a little more personality to it, a little more dialogue. June talks to the audience, which we only do in clubs; her voice isn’t that big, but she’s funny and smart. It’ll be special for everybody, I think.”

The shows are part of Hiroshima’s tour promoting its latest album, “Little Tokyo” — named after a district in Los Angeles. It comes after the band members have been involved in a variety of outside projects, from keyboardist Kimo Cornwell’s work with Al Jarreau and Maze to June Kuramoto’s role in helping to score the hit TV series “Heroes.” Dan Kuramoto, who produces other artists, says that rather than threatening the group, these extra-band projects only enhance what Hiroshima does together.

“This is our home base,” he says. “But we do get into so many other things, and we bring them to this. As the journey goes forward, we feel like we have more to offer, rather than less.”

Hiroshima performs at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Oct. 5 and 6) at Arturo’s Jazz Theatre in the Southfield AMC movie complex, 2553 W. 12 Mile Road. Tickets are $42.50 for the early shows and $37.50 for the late shows. Call (248) 357-6009 or visit www.arturosjazz.com.

Web Site: www.arturosjazz.com

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