Akira Tana RJAM faculty
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  2. Faculty Artist Series

Akira Tana presents Otonowa (Sound Circle) Jazz interpretations of Japanese folk and pop melodies


Barbro Osher Recital Hall
200 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
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Full Vaccination Required. 



Art Hirahara, piano

Ken Norikuyi, bass

Masaru Koga, reeds & percussion

Akira Tana, percussion



Inspired by the tragic events in 2011 following the Earthquake-Tsunami in Northern Japan (Tohoku), Otonowa was formed to provide spiritual healing through music to the communities devastated by these tragic events that claimed over 20,000 lives. The group  toured Tohoku for seven consecutive years before the pandemic. Three recordings were made and  the group is presently celebrating the release of their  fourth recording, “Wind and Light.” The music Otonowa plays are jazz interpretations of Japanese folk and pop melodies, some dating back to the 1700’s. The group employs  traditional Japanese instruments like the shakuhachi, fue, and fan drums in addition to instruments traditionally used in a jazz group—bass, piano, drums and a variety of reed instruments. The group members are in addition to SFCM/RJAM  faculty member, drummer and leader Akira Tana, pianist, Art HIrahara, reed specialist, Masaru Koga, and bassist Ken Noriyuki Okada. More information on this group can be accessed at www.otonowa-usa.com


Departments and Faculty Involved with This Event

Roots, Jazz, and American Music

About SFCM’s Roots, Jazz, and American Music Department

Roots, Jazz, and American Music is a first-of-its-kind program that links a world-class music conservatory to an award-winning jazz concert venue at SFJAZZ. A program for undergraduate and postgraduate students that takes a holistic view of jazz from its inception to its current status, RJAM prepares the next generation of great jazz artists by engaging students in an innovative model of apprenticeship with all-star faculty, including members of the SFJAZZ Collective. Students in the RJAM program have the opportunity to perform in multiple venues in the Bay Area, and to collaborate and learn from some of the top jazz artists on the concert circuit today.


The health and safety of the SFCM community and its patrons is of the highest priority. To help maintain a safe environment on campus for the SFCM community, and in adhering to San Francisco city guidelines, patrons are required to show proof of full vaccination to attend SFCM events. Please visit https://sfcm.edu/about-us/covid-19-information/event-health-safety to read the SFCM's full Event Health & Safety policy.

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