Watching Hiroshima perform is akin to witnessing two cultures come together through music. Formed almost 30 years ago by saxophonist Dan Kuramoto and master koto player June Kuramoto, the six-piece band bridges the gap between traditional Japanese music and modern jazz by incorporating sounds from both cultures, resulting in a unique mix that also welcomes influences from Latin and Brazilian music, funk, and other sonic elements. In a live setting, Hiroshima presents a high-energy show that goes from simple koto-based melodies to far more structured arrangements. Drummer Dean Cortez and taiko (Japanese drum) player Shoji Kameda have considerable chemistry together, and their shared drum solo — which usually takes place during an encore or right before the end of the original set — is highly memorable. There is little talk save for a few comments from Dan Kuramoto, who explains where their inspiration comes from. The band's star (though never mentioned as such) is definitely June Koramoto, around whose instrument all the music is woven into sublimely creative heights.


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