As the summer winds fade to fall colors, the weeks ahead are shaping up with these exciting events, ready to be enjoyed both before and after Labor Day.
This month’s highlights include:
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m.
Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
$23 Promenade Reserved/$37 Pepsi Porch/$63 Baseline Box Silver
Watch the Mets take on the Philadelphia Phillies with a special Japanese Heritage Night pre-game show featuring the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York, the Japanese Men’s Choir, taiko and fue master Kaoru Watanabe, and the Spirit Award presentations to important members of the community. Look for fun Japanese activities and games throughout the evening at the special Japanese Heritage Night tables! A portion of the proceeds of all ticket sales made through the special JHN ticket window and through online sales will be given to the Japanese American Association’s Committee on Aging Issues.
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2:00 p.m.
Hatsune Miku Magical Mirai 2013 premiere
Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue
$20 general admission
In Japan, Hatsune Miku is a phenomenally successful virtual idol that grew out of fan-created songs. With a name meaning “first sound of the future,” she is based on an innovative singing synthesizer software character. This special theatrical release—her first in the U.S. in nearly two years—celebrates the pop Vocaloid’s sixth birthday of by capturing a special commemorative live concert at the Yokohama Area simulcast in both New York and Los Angeles. (For this Examiner’s review of Miku’s previous live film screening in Times Square, click here.)
Sunday, Sept. 1, 5:30 p.m.
The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery
$15 advance/$18 day of show
Offering a welcoming environment to enjoy music, dance, performance and fashion for all fans and artists, j-Summit New York has created a community focused on the connections and cultural exchanges between New York and Japan through electrifying events. Proceeds for this special benefit concert will contribute to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami relief fund. Bands for the night include Aki, Lust, Red, Iri, Nicole Oliva, Nafsi Groove, and Yuri Bear.
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 9:00 p.m.
ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl.
Experience music beyond genre and borders at this one-time only special event featuring cutting-edge Tokyo keyboardist Masayasu Tzboguchi (of Tokyo Zawinul Bach fame) paired with one of the foremost creative bassists on the scene today, Stomu Takeishi (bass), and special guest Kyoko Kitamura (voice).
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 9:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.
Nublu, 62 Avenue C
The Manhattan debut of an incomparable electro jazz unit! Led by Masayasu Tzboguchi, one of the foremost keyboardists in Japan today. TZB integrates the algorithmic sequencing software "M" with a sound appealing to both jazz and club music fans. Featuring Yosuke Miyajima (guitar) and Yosvany Terry (sax, shekele), the group made their American debut at Studio BPM in Brooklyn last year, setting the stage for what promises to be two mind-blowing sets in Alphabet City.
Thursday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
$25/$20 Japan Society members, senior and students
Showcasing the quality ingredients, craftsmanship, and uniqueness of Japanese craft beer, Japan Society holds its second lecture and tasting event. Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster's Table and editor-in-chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, speaks on the appeal of Japanese craft beers and brewing methods, which produce beers that pair well with Japanese cuisine. Followed by a tasting of Japanese craft beers and beers influenced by Japanese cuisine. Beers that will be served include two luxury ales from Nippon Craft Beer that are not yet available in the States: Kagua Rouge and Kagua Blanc.
Thursday, Sept. 12, 8:00 p.m.
Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl.
$25 general admission
Seattle-born Japanese American Kishi Bashi returns to bring his kaleidoscopic soundscapes to the Big Apple. As the singer and founding member of the new New York synth rock outfit Jupiter One, he is best known for his track "Bright Whites" from his debut album 151a, which was licensed by Microsoft for its Windows 8 campaign. Sony used his song "It All Began with a Burst" from the same album for a commercial introducing their Xperia Tablet S. In addition to these placements, Smart licensed "Chester's Burst Over the Hamptons" for their line of smart cars in the United States.
Friday, Sept. 13
Herb & Dorothy 50X50 premiere
IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue
The follow-up to 2008’s award-winning documentary Herb & Dorothy, former TV news director Megumi Sasaki has created a new film that focuses on the next (and final) chapter in the lives of legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel, raising various questions on art and what it takes to support art in today’s society. The majority of the film’s funds were raised by crowdsourcing in both the U.S. and Japan, raising a combined $220,000 from nearly 2,000 supporters around the world, making headlines as the most successful crowdsourcing film project ever in Japan.
Sunday, Sept. 15, 7:00 p.m.
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway
$36 advance/$28 members, seniors, students/$20 children/$40 day of show
Experience the thunderous rhythms of the ancestral Japanese taiko drums and the magical sounds of the bamboo flutes. Drawing from Japan's rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza incorporates the shakuhachi and the fue (both bamboo flutes) with colorful dances. The group has toured internationally and has appeared on ESPN, NBC, the History Channel, and has even performed at Madison Square Garden. Supporting the group on this tour is taiko soloist Ichiro Jishoya in his New York debut.
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
$36/$28 Japan Society members
Japan Society's 60th anniversary performing arts season kicks off with an encore performance of Basil Twist’s award-winning puppetry masterpiece—an intricate, evocative re-imagining of traditional Japanese puppet theater staging techniques, with live music performed by master shamisen player Yumiko Tanaka. Dogugaeshi originally premiered at Japan Society in 2004 to wide acclaim and was presented again during the Society’s Centennial Celebration in 2007. Since then the piece has toured extensively, including several stops in Japan, and was part of Twist’s 2012 career retrospective festival in Washington, D.C. This unprecedented third presentation promises new textures and layers from its travels, according to Japan Society's artistic director Yoko Shioya.
Thursday, Sept. 26, 6:00 p.m.
The Altman Building, 135 W. 18th Street
$95 advance/$110 at the door
Premium ginjo and daiginjo sakes first started appearing on Manhattan restaurant menus around 10 years ago, perfectly timed with the birth of The Joy of Sake, a once-a-year event featuring the world's finest sakes in peak condition paired with the best in traditional and contemporary Asian cuisine. Over 300 premium sakes will be available for tasting, along with appetizers by 14 of New York's finest restaurants.
Sept. 26-Oct. 13
La MaMa Experimental Theatre, 74 East Fourth Street
$18/$13 students and seniors/$10 special offer
Told in fragments, writer Chiori Miyagawa’s emotionally raw new play traces the journeys of twenty characters that lose someone following natural disaster or war. For Maia, reunion with her mother, who was swept away by the tsunami, is impossible. She then seeks her mother’s spirit by swimming across the largest lake in the world.
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