June Kuramoto with Kimo Cornwell

Event Details

Join us for an evening of music featuring kotoist June Kuramoto and keyboardist Kimo Cornwell, two artists from the renowned jazz and fusion band Hiroshima.

Born in Japan (just outside of Tokyo), and raised in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, June epitomizes America's evolving art and music culture. As a child, she longed to return to Japan and found comfort in playing an ancient Japanese instrument– the koto. Almost by destiny, a renowned koto master, the madame Kazue Kudo, protege of Japan's most famous kotoist and composer, Michio Miyagi, relocated to the United States, and began teaching koto– in June's family home. Using her grandmother's koto, June, only six years old, found a 'connection' for her life in the instrument and Japanese music.

June has subsequently received all the classical degrees of koto through Kudo-Sensei and authorized by the Miyagi School of Koto in Japan. Along the way, she performed with some of the greatest musicians in the classical world, from Japanese masters to Ravi Shankar. But June is an American artist. She wanted somehow to integrate this music that is her life– with the American culture and music that she loves.

June met an eccentric artist-musician named Dan, and they began merging June's koto music with the diverse musical environment of Los Angeles. This was the beginning of Hiroshima. June has since been the driving artistic force of Hiroshima, creating a multi-cultural music statement, while growing into one of the world's greatest kotoists.

Keyboardist Kimo Cornwell was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and of Hawaiian, Chinese and English ancestry. He grew up in Kalihi and graduated from Farrington High School. His love for music made him become an active keyboard player on the islands. After playing and recording with a number of groups in Hawaii, Kimo and his wife Debbie, moved to Los Angeles to try his hand in the 'mainland' music scene. Discovered by touring groups, Kimo hit the road first with Cheryl Lynn, and then with a succesion of artists including Ronnie Laws, Al Jarreau, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly -- and off and on with L.A. band Hiroshima. Throughout the mid-1980s, Kimo was being pulled by Hiroshima, then Jarreau, then Maze, then Hiroshima, then Maze then . . . you get the picture. Eventually, his head gave way to his heart, and he became th e full-time mainstay with Hiroshima. Working in the capacity of keyboardist, composer, arranger, and producer, he has become part of the heart and soul of their music.