WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
The group, led by Dan Kuramoto, continues to make their own East Meets West contemporary jazz. Departure, their 18th recording, is defined by its title.
. . . Consistent quality, a distinct sound, and longevity = win. If I were creating a Contemporary Jazz Hall of Fame, Hiroshima would certainly be an early inductee. - Contemporary Jazz.com, John Hildebrand (2012)
Departure isn't as much a radical departure as it is the next step in Hiroshima's evolution away from smooth jazz mainstay into a tight unit of skilled players making consistently solid music . . . . At its heart, Departure is an on the money if not groundbreaking entry in the Hiroshima catalog for longtime fans and a good jumping on spot for new ones. - all about jazz, Jeff Winbush
Hiroshima is a master jazz band, legends in their own time, and "Departure" will take you to many moods and places – all of them exciting and wonderful, hypnotic and tranquil. There's something for everyone here, and this reviewer is both amazed and pleased that the band, after more than 30 years in the music business and 18 CDs, continues to push the envelope and remain innovative, genuine, and extraordinary. - Music Dish, Michelle Wilson-Morris
Vibrant, eclectic and truly original, the 2010 Grammy-nominated Hiroshima creates a musical world all its own. Featuring the luscious sound of June Kuramoto’s koto, and the interwoven fabrics of Jazz, Japan, Salsa and more, their Departure CD and tour, “journeys to the heart of their musical soul.”
This fall Hiroshima is set to release its latest CD J-Town Beat (#19) - it’s about the effort to retain culture in America, exploring their roots in the groove, have some fun and try to save J-Towns. They are very excited about this record, including new tracks ‘Meiji Mambo’ ‘State of Mind’ ‘Red Buddha’ and ‘Lady of Mystery.’ The project includes amazing tracks with their musical brother Vinx.
In 1971, Duke Ellington recorded an album entitled The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse. As part of that work, Ellington proclaimed “that whole world was going [Asian],” and that no one would know “who was in the shadow of whom.”
The celebrated ensemble known as Hiroshima is the fulfillment of Ellington’s prophecy. In the more than three decades since they first convened, the Los Angeles-based ensemble of Dan Kuramoto (keyboards/ woodwinds/ composer/ producer), virtuoso June Kuramoto (koto/ composer), Kimo Cornwell (piano/ keyboards/ composer), Danny Yamamoto (drums/percussion), Dean Cortez (bass) have blended jazz, pop, and rock with traditional Japanese folk music and instruments. The resulting sound was a pioneering voice in the contemporary world music movement of the late 20th century.
Ever evolving, the 2010 Grammy-nominated group, highlighted by the sound of June Kuramoto’s shimmering koto (noted by Stanley Clarke to be the world’s best) creates music and sounds totally unique--with depth, heart and soul.
After more than 30 years in the recording industry -- and almost 4 million records sold – Hiroshima decided to leave record companies behind and venture on our own given the changes in the music industry and what it’s now going to take to survive.
For Hiroshima – which takes its name from the Japanese city that sustained a nuclear blast during World War II, yet rose phoenix-like from its own ashes – the “ride” began in the poly-glot metropolis of Los Angeles. Of all of the members, only June Kuramoto was born in Japan. She arrived in Los Angeles when she was six and lived in an African-American neighbor¬hood.