Spotlight

In Memoriam - Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) and Kate Spade (1962-2018)

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Friday, 08 June 2018

In Memoriam - Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) and Kate Spade (1962-2018)
June 8, 2018 Its been a tough week. First Kate Spade. Then this morning the news of Anthony Bourdain.  I never knew them personally, but they touched my life and so many of my friends. There was something about our Kate Spade handbags that made us smile, and we watched Anthony Bourdain travel the world sharing his adventures in culture and cuisine.  Of the many tributes and articles, here is one by writer/filmmaker Kevin Pang, who met Anthony Bourdain several times. (for links...

Articles

Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station

Posted by Lia Chang on Monday, 15 August 2011


Nancy Lee Chang with her grandchildren Eric Lagandaon, Leah Baptista, Lia Chang, Tami Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Alaina Lagandaon (not pictured Karina Umehara), on her 90th birthday on July 16,2011. Photo by Albert Baptista


In recognition of my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I am sharing this article I wrote about her experience of being detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station, which appeared online in the September 19, 2000 edition of A. Media, Inc.

“What is was really like.”
“My name is Lee Bak Huen. In 1937, I was 15 years old when Japan bombed China and many of the people in my grandmother’s village were killed. At the time, my father, brother and two sisters lived in Locke, Ca, and my father sold clothes to farmers to support us. Fearing for my life, he sent my passport and a booklet that detailed everything about my family and my home for me to study. He managed to scrape together $300 Hong Kong dollars, enough for third class passage on the SS President Hoover. My journey from Hong Kong to San Francisco took 18 days. I slept on a hammock and was seasick the entire time.

Coaching Booklet Photo by Lia Chang


I expected to get off the ship in San Francisco, but was taken to Angel Island instead, and detained. My father hired a lawyer to facilitate the processing. The Chinese interpreter who interrogated me was so rude that she confused me with many questions. I was asked how many stones it took to build my house in China, how many sisters I had, the...

Author Henry Chang on Mid-Manhattan Library Panel- THE EVIL MEN DO: Inside The Mind Of The Sexual Predator on August 17

Posted by Lia Chang on Sunday, 14 August 2011

Henry Chang, noted mystery/crime fiction novelist with Rick Shiomi, playwright, Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts and co-editor of Asian American Plays for A New Generation, at a book party in New York on July 29, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang

Last month, I met mystery/crime fiction author Henry Chang at a book party for Rick Shiomi, playwright, Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts and co-editor of the “Asian American Plays for A New Generation.”

Henry Chang's Chinatown Trilogy: Chinatown Beat, Year of the Dog and Red Jade. Photo by Lia Chang

After reading Chang’s CHINATOWN TRILOGY series which chronicles the beat of NYPD Detective Jack Yu, and includes Chinatown Beat, Year of the Dog and the recently released Red Jade, I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say when he appears on a panel at the Mid-Manhattan Library called THE EVIL MEN DO: Inside The Mind Of The Sexual Predator, on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 6:30pm. Co-sponsored by the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, the panel will also feature authors Lyndsay Faye, David Levien, Dr. Julie Salzano, and be moderated by Meredith Anthony.

Evil Raises the stakes. We’re horrified, frightened, fascinated. Why do we stare at the scene of an accident? Why do we read the news when a girl is found dismembered in a trunk? Why do we read violent fiction? What evil are criminals capable of? What evil are writers capable of imagining?

These panelists get up in the morning, go to work at a...

H I R O S H I M A in Benefit Concert for Japan on September 21 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York

Posted by Lia Chang on Friday, 12 August 2011

Dan Kuramoto Photo by Lia Chang

Dan Kuramoto, co-founder of the two-time Grammy nominated jazz fusion band HIROSHIMA, was in the middle of laying down tracks for their next CD, when I chatted on the phone with him recently. He asked me to hold a moment while he put down his saxophone, then shared that HIROSHIMA is performing a Benefit Concert for Japan at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York on September 21, 2011.

I am psyched as the unique concert will feature songs that have been the hallmark of HIROSHIMA’s 30 year career. Special guest stars on the bill include Machan on vocals, Kaoru Watanabe on Fue/percussion, Jazz Pianist Helen Sung, David Henry Hwang on Electric violin and a surprise guest artist.

David Henry Hwang Photo by Lia Chang

Nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album, HIROSHIMA are the only Asian American Band to receive a coveted Grammy nomination and LEGACY marks their second.

Hiroshima embraces cultural diversity with innovative music that blends Jazz, Pop, R&B, and World music with Eastern and Western instruments. The group crossed over into Smooth Jazz stardom with the smash hit “One Wish” from the best-seller Gold album “Another Place.” Hiroshima’s “Go” topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart and won a Soul Train Award for “Best Jazz Album.”

HIROSHIMA performs in a special benefit concert for Japan at BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York on September 21, 2011.

Profits from this concert will go to the Japan Relief...

Suzen Murakoshi’s Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, at 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, 8/11-20

Posted by Lia Chang on Thursday, 11 August 2011

Snowboarder Suzen Murakoshi

Suzen Murakoshi kicks it up a notch with her solo show, Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience. Photo by Anya Garrett.

After a well received run at the Calgary Fringe Festival, New York based actor, playwright, and snowboarder Suzen Murakoshi continues to take Canada by storm with her solo show Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, a true story written and performed by Ms. Murakoshi, and directed by Obie (Off-Broadway) award winner Ching Valdes-Aran, at the 30th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

Performances for Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience, are from Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 20, 2011. Tickets are available at the Central Fringe Theatre Box Office in the TransAlta Arts Barns (10330 84 Avenue), online at https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/DateSelection.aspx?item=1044 or (780) 409-1910. Tickets purchased by phone or online can be picked up at the Central Fringe Box Office Pick-Up Window (TransAlta Arts Barns).

A “Samurai Super Daughter” struggles with her mother at the crossroads between East and West to affirm life between this world and the next. With warmth and humour, Breathe Love Repeat: a Near Life Experience tells the story of the last days in the life of a mother and daughter. This uplifting and life affirming show travels from the mountains of Japan to the islands of Hawaii. Delightful in its simplicity, and memorable in its expression, Ms. Murakoshi brings the clarity of life...

Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 20th Anniversary Season: Four Destinies, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Into the Woods, & Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 09 August 2011

Mu Peforming Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi will direct "Into the Woods". Photo by Lia Chang

The 2011 – 2012 Mu Performing Arts 20th Anniversary mainstage season lineup includes two premiere works by Asian American playwrights: Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo and A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. Mu Daiko celebrates 15 years of taiko drumming in the Twin Cities with a special anniversary concert, to kick off the group’s Minnesota tour. To close out the mainstage season, Mu will present the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods, re-imagined from an Asian American perspective.

The season kicks off on October 15 at Mixed Blood Theatre with the world premiere of Four Destinies, directed by Suzie Messerole. The play by local playwright Katie Hae Leo is a satirical exploration of adoption through the eyes of Destiny Jones, a single character represented from four different ethnic backgrounds, as she/he grows up in a Minnesota family. Leo, herself a Korean adoptee, presents herself as a character determined to embody the overarching adoptee experience, both in youth and adulthood. Four Destinies has been in development for the past two years through Mu’s Jerome New Performance Program, a platform for emerging Asian American theater voices to create and present edgy new work.

In February, Mu Daiko, under the musical direction of Iris Shiraishi, returns to the Ordway’s McKnight Theatre for a special performance celebrating both the...

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