Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: “Koto Oyako don” CD Release Concert, featuring Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and Brian Mitsuhiro Wong at the Numi Tea Garden in Oakland on 11/13

Long time Bay Area master of Japanese koto, Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, and her son, Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, who is also a credentialed teacher on the koto, just finished producing and recording their first CD recording together.

“We named it ‘Koto Oyako don’, because Brian and I thought it was a cute way to express our fun relationship of playing koto with the ‘oya’ (parent) and the ‘ko’ (child), and also, it’s one of Brian’s favorite rice dishes…,” explained Muramoto.

Celebrate the release of Muramoto and Wong’s new CD at their release party on Saturday, November 13 at 7:30pm, at the Numi Tea Garden in Oakland. Jeff Massanari on guitar, Alex Baum on string bass and Anthony Brown on percussion, who all recorded on the album, will perform as well.

The new CD includes new instrumental works composed by Muramoto and Wong, as well as songs from their koto schools, the Chikushi and Sawai Koto Schools, which are based in Japan. Other songs on the album include “Manzanar”, a song about a man who was interned there, is the one vocal song on the album, paying tribute to the Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II; “Jan Ken Po” is performed in memory of Muramoto’s good friend and journalist, Gina Hotta, who composed the tune.

Muramoto, who has been researching Japanese traditional arts practiced in the American concentration camps of World War II, will also pay tribute to koto artist and composer, Kayoko Wakita, and her parents, Baido and Nobue Wakita, who performed and taught the koto and the shakuhachi at the Manzanar site.

“Koto Oyako don” CD release performance, featuring Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto and Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, with special guests Jeff Massanari/guitar, Alex Baum/string bass and Anthony Brown/ percussion, will be held on Saturday, November 13 at 7:30 pm, at the Numi Tea Garden 2230 Livingston Street, Oakland, CA. Tickets are $10. For ticket reservations and information about the program, please email, or call 510-482-1640.

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Other Articles by Lia Chang:
STORIES FROM CHINESE AMERICA: The Arthur Dong Collection, Vol. 2 as 4 disc DVD Box Set, Parties in LA (11/6) and SF (11/13)
Abingdon Theatre Company Presents the New York premiere of Reggie Cheong-Leen’s play, The Nanjing Race, 10/29-11/21
Photos: Happy Birthday to My Niece Asia
Lia Chang: Velina Hasu Houston’s Calligraphy Set for World Premiere at LATC, 11/10-12/12
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Signs Fred Korematsu Day Bill, Bill Establishes January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution
Multimedia-Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Crafting a Career
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection Exhibition at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, has been extended through November 7, 2010
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

Photo by Lia Chang

Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.


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