News Release:


Japan’s National Living Treasure
Kabuki Percussionist
“Katada Kisaku New Year Concert”

As part of the Oshogatsu Celebration Series, The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center co-presents with the Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization a special concert featuring Japan’s National Living Treasure, Master Percussionist Katada Kisaku with an ensemble of ten of Japan’s foremost Nagauta musicians including Yoshimura Isoshichi (shamisen), Kineya Naokichi (uta) and Nakagawa Yoshio (fue) at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance on Sunday, January 7, 3 p.m. 2001. Prior to the performance there will be a lecture demonstration on Kabuki percussion by Master Katada at 2:20 p.m.

Katada Kisaku will take charge of a concert to showcase the versatility and beauty of the Kabuki tradition of percussion instruments and music. He was born into a hayashi family of long tradition and the recipient of one of Japan’s highest honors for cultural merit and designated as a youngest National Living Treasure in 1998.

He is no stranger to Los Angeles, in 1981, taking part in UCLA’s Asian Performing Arts Summer institute, Master Katada taught an intensive course in Hayashi (Kabuki Percussion) and upon learning there were no Hayashi groups in California he helped to establish one called Katada-Kai of U.S.A. here in Los Angeles which is still the only one out side of Japan. (Protégées of Grand Master Katada are allowed to use the name Katada and form a school of Hayashi under the name of Katada-Kai.) Hayashi is essential to Kabuki music, dancing and acting, it is the heart and soul of music for the Kabuki.

The program includes the the favorite nagauta classic compositions, ”Kanjincho” and “Shima no Senzai” as well as a new composition for shamisen and taiko “Taiko No Kyoku,” and the the US premiere of “ Hayashi Suite” a new composition for percussion, and a traditional dance number “Shoujou,” performed by Hanayagi Wakana. This presentation became possible by funding from the Agency for Cultural Affair of Japan and the California Arts Council.

Tickets are available at the James Armstrong Theater Box Office for $30 Charge by phone purchases may be made daily from noon to 5 p.m. at the box office at (310) 781-7171. The theater is located in the Torrance Cultural Art Center which is on Madrona off Torrance Blvd. Address is 3330 Civic Drive, Torrance. Parking is free. JACCC member discount is $27 available only at the Japan America Theatre box office (213) 680-3700. For further information please contact Mikko Haggott, Katada Kai of USA (310) 378-3550.

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