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FIRST VOICE

The Home of

BRENDA WONG AOKI

&

MARK IZU

 

STORY. MUSIC. LIFE.

Now booking for 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons!


Upcoming

Aunt Lily's Flowerbook

True tales of resilience. Memoirs from a family diary tell the true stories of the struggles and resilience of a Japanese American family in the 1940’s

2017-18 National Tour Dates Released!

 

 

PAST SEASON

HANABI: A MOMENT WITH MASARU KOGA

Sunday, March 26, 3pm

First Voice Studios

41A Parsons St, San Francisco

 

You are invited to a one-time only, intimate concert with world class musicians, led by shakuhachi/saxophone artist Masaru Koga, joined by longtime collaborators John-Carlos Perrea and Jimmy Biala.  Hanabi, the Japanese word for fireworks, was chosen to represent the ephemeralness of life. The aim of this performance is to capture a beautiful moment as it appears and disappears.

"We will perform original and improvised music, inspired by the interconnection between all beings in nature"

-Masaru Koga

Tea reception to follow

 


Stay in touch!

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Digital Downloads

 

Tales of the Pacific Rim

Product Description

Dreams and Illusions: Tales of the Pacific Rim is Brenda Wong Aoki's classic Asian-Pacific folk tales for the whole family.  Modern and ancient tales from Japan, China, Hawaii, Korea, Hmong and California.  Scored with original music and traditional instruments.

Listen and Preview

 

Mermaid Meat

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The haunting eloquence of master storyteller Brenda Wong Aoki woven with the music of Asian Jazz pioneer Mark Izu.

Obsessive greed, crimes of passion, abuse of power; today's headlines, are the stuff of ghost stories. Meat the secret to immortality and other Japanese Ghost Stories features four powerful tales that explore the dilemmas of life people around the world have grappled with since the beginning of time.

 

Threading Time

Last Dance

The Queen's Garden

Navarasa


The CD, Threading Time, by Mark Izu and Circle of Fire, is a rare performance of two national treasures, Gagaku Master Togi Suenobu (Japan), Tabla Master Zakir Hussain (India) swirled into smooth jazz by composer Mark Izu (USA). The album journeys through dimensions of jazz and myth as it explores the ancient intonations of Japanese gagaku and the music of peoples traveling the legendary Silk Road.


Last Dance tells the internment story through spoken word, poetry, historic photos, 40’s Big Band sound and original music. It’s a tribute to Japanese Americans who used music and dance to remind themselves and the world who they were.


“This soul-stirring coming-of-age disc by Brenda Wong Aoki shouldn’t be missed by fans of spoken word. The first-person love story of Brenda Jean–a girl of uniquely mixed heritage (Asian, Mexican, and Scottish)–is backed by a melting jazz soundtrack courtesy of bassist-composer Mark Izu. The west side of Los Angeles is the setting here, but it’s Aoki’s autobiographical narrative that steals each scene. Her love for Kali, a boy descended from Hawaiian royalty, takes its own course, and Aoki’s jazz inspired pacing makes this 71-minute disc ebb and flow with a power all its own”. –Jason Verlinde


This CD is based on the Hindu concept of navarasa, or 9 emotional states, expressed through a combination of shakuhachi, bass, and mouth organ (the Chinese sheng and Japanese shô). The performers on this CD are Christopher Yohmei Blasdel and Mark Izu. The music is mostly improvised, based on the various rasa themes. Japanese music has roots in India, so we decided to use the navarasa for inspiration.

 
 
 

Music and CDs Now Available for Purchase

 

Celebrating 40 Years As A Performing Arts Duo

 

NBC Bay Area features Brenda and Mark as "master storyteller" and "Emmy Award Winning Composer" on their 40th anniversary


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NOW BOOKING

CALIFORNIA ARTISTS MANAGEMENT

SUE ENDRIZZI MORRIS • DONALD E. OSBORNE
sue@calartists.com • don@calartists.com
www.calartists.com