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In 2003, when the Nisei Project toured the Hawaiian Islands, CBT was privileged to have our composer Keith Hall on percussion, Kevin Olafsson on Koto and Marty Regan on Shakuhachi performing live to a partially recorded score. For the 11-year anniversary re-staging at the Fringe Festival, full, live musical accompaniment along with choreographic revisions gave the ballet a fresh look and sound.  


Covenant Ballet Musical Director, Craig Brann incorporated two songs written by singer/songwriter Harold Payne and composer/ ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. Both men wrote pieces honoring the Nisei Veterans.


Harold Payne grew up in Torrence, California in a neighborhood that was home to men from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The past lives of these men were unknown to Harold until he overheard veteran Harry Komatsu mention that he had returned from Italy. When Harold questioned him about what he was doing in Italy, he learned that Mr. Komatsu and a group of the Nisei veterans were honored by the Italian town for their heroism during WWII. Harold began to learn all about the Nisei legacy. When he was asked to perform a song at the 50th Anniversary of the Nisei of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was thrilled and wrote and performed his poignant song, “Quiet Heroes.”


Jake Shimabukuro grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, a 5th generation Japanese American. For his 2011 album, Peace, Love, Ukulele (#1 album in Billboard’s Top World Music Album) Jake included his song “Go For Broke”,  a song he wrote in honor of the Nisei Veterans of WWII and to remind the generations to come about this legacy.


Listen to clip of "Quiet Heroes"


Listen to clip of "Go for Broke"  



Nisei Project 2003

Composer: Keith Hall, Johann Pachelbel, Taki Rentaro


Live Musicians:

Keith Hall, Percussion

Marty Regan, Shakuhachi

Kevin Olafsson, Koto


Recorded Musicians:

Todd Yukumoto, Alto & Tenor Saxophones, Clarinet, Flute

Stephen Jones, Bass

Rob Prester, Piano

Greg Hoshida, Tuba

Karen Fujimoto, Cello

Claire S. Hazzard, Violin

Gregory L. Wills, Trumpet

Patrick Hennessey, Trombone

Martin Reso, Shakuhachi

Nisei Project 2014

Composer: Keith HallCraig Brann, Taki Rentaro, Harold Payne, Jake Shimabukuro


Live Musicians:

Craig Brann, Guitar

Nick Morrison, Bass

Chris Beck, Percussion

John Raymond, Trumpet

Sumie Kaneko, Koto

Eric Ford, Shakuhachi

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