TORRANCE — The Grateful Crane Ensemble will present a musical tribute and a nostalgic look back at the life and career of famed Japanese singer and actress Misora Hibari on Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. at the James Armstrong Theatre in Torrance.

The program cover from Misora Hibari’s 1973 concert tour, which took place at the Forum in Los Angeles, the Cow Palace in San Francisco and the Olympic Hotel in Seattle. (Courtesy of Mas Nishikawa)

Entitled “Misora Hibari: A Tribute to a Legend,” the two-act show will feature over 20 of her greatest hits, and remembrances of a difficult time when Japanese in Japan and Japanese Americans were struggling to survive after World War II. The show will also illustrate how “Hibari-chan’s” incredible voice, enormous talent and indomitable spirit helped to lift them up, and gave them encouragement and hope for a better future.

“Just the mention of Misora Hibari’s name brings an immediate reaction from the people who remember her,” said Soji Kashiwagi, executive producer and writer of the Grateful Crane Ensemble. “After World War II, she did so much to inspire the people of Japan that the Japanese government bestowed upon her a special award. This show is our way of honoring and recognizing her for the encouragement and joy she gave to our people here in America as well.”

Directed by Keiko Kawashima, the show will feature the singing talents of Kawashima, Haruye Ioka, Merv Maruyama, Helen H. Ota and Fusako Shiotani. Musicians for the show include Grateful Crane’s musical director Scott Nagatani on piano, Danny Yamamoto (of Hiroshima) on drums and Japanese percussion, and Hiro Morozumi on keyboards and guitar.

The James Armstrong Theatre is located at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3330 Civic Center Dr. in Torrance. Tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for a group of ten or more. For reservations, call the Grateful Crane ticket line at (310) 995-5841.

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