Akira Tana and Otonowa – Commemerating the 5th Anniversary of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

20160108_MG_2235_TanaEns**_3x6Upcoming 3.11 related events/performances for

AKIRA TANA AND OTONOWA to commemorate 5th
Anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami disaster.


3/11 Savanna Jazz in San Carlos (8pm)

1189 Laurel St., San Carlos savannajazz.com

3/12 “Tohoku Springs Back!: A Fundraiser Celebrating 5 Years of
Positive Change in Tohoku, Japan” (7pm)

At Bower Center, Berkeley 2150 Allston Way
$75 General/$50 UCB students via Center for Japanese
Studies http://ieas.berkeley.edu/cjs/
featuring guest vocalist SAKI KONO


3/13 Café Pink House in Saratoga (6pm)

14577 Big Basin Way, Saratoga cafepinkhouse.com
Limited seating, reservation recommended. $15 

Donations will be accepted for the continuing rebuilding efforts.

OTONOWA is: Masaru Koga, Ken Okada, and Art Hirahara
photo: Andy Nozaka

Otonowa fundraising Concert July 12, 2015

Otonowa – A Benefit Concert at Piedmont Piano in Oakland
Having toured Northern Japan in aiding the relief efforts there, Otonowa (Sound Circle) will be performing jazz interpretations of Japanese folk and pop melodies, employing traditional Japanese instruments to compliment the standard jazz quartet instrumentation. It will be an evening of music, discussion of the group’s ongoing mission, light snacks and beverages, and hope that contributions can be made to make the upcoming tour as successful as the previous tours.

Featuring Masaru Koga, Ken Noriyuki Okada, Art Hirahara, and Akira Tana

Sunday, July 12, 2015 at 7:30pm
at Piedmont Piano Company
1728 San Pablo Ave. (at 18th), Oakland, CA

All the members of the group and staff support are donating their time and efforts. The costs of the tour are entirely dependent on the generous donations of music supporters who recognize the power of spiritual healing through music.

FREE ADMISSION – donations welcome

To RSVP, please call (510) 547-8188

For more details, visit http://piedmontpiano.com/concerts/150712otonowa.html


Bringing Jazz to Japan for Earthquake-Tsunami Relief

Short video to solicit funding for Otonowa’s return goodwill tour to Tohoku, Japan this July 2014. w.Mas Koga, Ken Okada, Art Hirahara, Saki Kono. LET US NOT FORGET!

Hearing about catastrophic events leaves individuals from afar wanting to help and show those affected they are not alone. The Earthquake/Tsunami in Northern Japan in 2011 was such an event. The jazz group, OTONOWA, led by drummer Akira Tana, was assembled with Japanese and Japanese American musicians living in the U.S. They traveled to Northern Japan (Tohoku) in March 2013 to perform five free concerts and to provide music clinics for youth.

Residents still living in temporary housing and many not likely to return to their villages were provided a temporary reprieve from their situation and could just focus on the uplifting music. The sense of gratitude expressed by residents to know they were not forgotten was extremely moving to see.

Twilight Concert, April 27, 2013

On April 27, ZenPlay, the Edgewood Trio of (Beni Shinohara – violin, Margaret Moores – cello, and Marilyn Thompson – piano), and Himawari-kai co-hosted a fundraising concert in Tiburon, California.

Over 70 people came to celebrate beautiful music, friendship, food and wine in a true testament to the ZenPlay spirit: Play a little, give a lot.

We raised over $8000 in this event, and will send to Ichinoseki Fujinosono, over $6000 in donations (after expenses), to support over 40 children who live in the house. The children are looking forward to moving into their new home after having lived in temporary housing after the earthquake in 2011.

Video: Yuko Inatsuki

Fujinosono images: Steve Yamaguma

Kids Orchestra Japan Project

Just met Junko Suzuki Parsons and her friends at Mari Kawawa’s fundraiser “Twilight COncert on the Bay”, Saturday, April 27th, 2013 in Tiburon, CA, featuring the Edgewood Trio. Junko’s team is helping promote the Kids Orchestra Japan Project, an exchange program of youths in Japan and the U.S. collaborating with music. Their goal is to connect the kids in the affected areas in the Tohoku area of Japan to help them through these challenging times. Will be updating more about their progress.

Otonowa – Jazz ensemble to perform in Tohoku


March,2013 Japan

Otonowa, the acclaimed ensemble led by jazz drummer Akira Tana will be heading to Japan to perform at several benefit concerts supporting the recover efforts in the Tohoku region.

The Otonowa tour schedule:

26th 7-11:30 pm Satin Doll, Roppongi, Tokyo

27th evening Tono, Iwate @NPO遠野、岩手

28th 10-2:30 Otsuchi, Iwate@NPO大槌、岩手//  Evening Kesennuma Shimin Kaikan Chu Hall, Miyagi気仙沼市民会館中ホール、宮城

29th  1 – 9pm Tokiwagi Gakuen HS, Sendai, MIyagi常盤木学園高校・仙台、宮城

30th  day/eve Ishinomaki Chuo Kouminkan, Miyagi 石巻中央公民館、宮城

For more information contact Akira Tana at:



Otonowa Satin Doll


“Friends helping Friends” Castilleja School’s Arts with a Heart – Friends Helping Friends

Friday Feb. 8
Saturday Feb 9
Sunday Feb 10

Don’t miss this moving performance of dance, song, poetry, and interviews from the heart at Castilleja School for the Arts in Palo Alto. Beautiful, artistic interpretations of the events that happened on March 11, 2011 in the Tohoku area of Japan, the students captured the sense of devastation, fear, and loneliness and how connecting as “friends” instilled a spirit of hope and optimism.

The addition of famed Oh-In Taiko and master drummer Jimi Nakagawa http://www.jiminakagawa.com/ fueled the excitement and stirred the emotions.

And, the moments with the “special guests” touched the hearts of everyone in the audience. Gambate kudasai.

Congratulations to Georgi Shea, producer and all the students and performers of Castilleja School.

Wilcox High School Japanese class sings their best wishes to Tohoku

Upon hearing that I would be traveling to the Tohoku region of Japan to visit Soma Aiikuen Children’s Shelter in Soma City, and Ichinoseki Fujinosono Children’s Shelter in Ichinoseki, my son’s Japanese class decided to sing a Japanese song dedicated to the children in those shelters. Led by Ushimaru-sensei, the students sang, played the music, shot and edited the video.

The students in the Wilcox High School Japanese Class in Santa Clara California wishes all the best and hope to build friendships across the Pacific Ocean.

They did an excellent job, putting their heart and soul into the project.

Please enjoy.