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Kabuki Cabaret: Ghosts, Jazz & Haunting Drama
Rhythmix Cultural Works
Alameda, CA
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Kabuki Cabaret: Ghosts, Jazz & Haunting Drama
Blending Noh and Kyogen dramatic performance with thundering Taiko, under a cascade of contemporary koto steeped with jazz, this Kabuki Cabaret will further tantalize the audience with a program of traditional Japanese ghost legends.Veterans on the avante garde music and theater scene, writer/actor Brenda Wong Aoki, and her long time creative partner bassist/composer Mark Izu, a seminal force on the Asian-American jazz scene, bring together the best of the best - Grammy nominated multi-percussionist Dr. Anthony Brown, natori  koto master Shoko Hikage, Mas Koga 2010 Best Latin Jazz flutist,  vocalist Moy Eng and Janet Koike with PJ Hirabayashi on Taiko. Stories include:
The Soul of the Great Bell, a traditional Chinese legend of a mighty emperor and the ghost of a young girl imprisoned in a temple bell; and Travelings, musical musings on real hauntings in Chinatown, Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Bay.

Kabuki Jazz Cabarets were conceived and created by Aoki and Izu, who have developed a symbiotic blend of east and west, spoken word and music. Mark Izu, an Emmy Award-winning jazz composer, studied and performed Gagaku (Japanese Imperial music) with master Togi Suenobu for over twenty years. Writer/performer Brenda Wong Aoki is a student of Noh and Kyogen and a three-time NEA Theater Fellow. She is one of the premiere storytellers in America and an award-winning playwright recognized for her multidisciplinary works combining contemporary monodrama with traditional arts.

About Japanese Ghost Legends
In Noh theatre, the dead are more important than the living because the actions of the dead are what brought us to where we are today. Japanese ghosts are usually female - upset females. They are portrayed without feet because they have lost their connection to the earth. They are passionate women on a mission, so filled with love, jealousy or rage; they won't go peacefully to into the night.  

Japanese believe ghosts are people who have died with an unpaid On. On means "debt" or "obligation," but it is much more complicated. An On carries with it a sacred vow that this debt be repaid.  An unpaid debt is passed down to your children and to their children. The On begins to grow, like a snowball into an avalanche with each successive generation. Finally, whole families, villages, countries live under the dark cloud of an unpaid on, because by then, nobody knows how to fix it.  

This is where storytellers come in. Storytellers help people remember what happened in the past and how those actions affect the present. Because like autumn leaves falling year after year, people can repeat the same mistakes, follow the same patterns, and create the same stories/histories over and over again. But storytellers remind us that we can change our fate. Love stories soften our hearts. Tales of wonder awaken awe in the world around us. Heroes bring out the heroic in the listener and remind us that one good person can change the world. Ghost stories remind us that what remains after we are dead are the consequences of our actions. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.


Rhythmix Cultural Works
2513 Blanding Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
United States


Arts > Performance
Music > Jazz

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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