hiroshima j-town beatHiroshima will take special “Back to the Beginnings” concerts to Northern California: May 1 at Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple; May 2 at College of San Mateo in a benefit performance for CSM’s Asian Pacific American Film Festival and Kimochi’s San Mateo Capital Campaign; and May 3 at San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin.

“Back in the day we started out playing community and church events, in cities and towns we don’t typically get to now,” band leader Dan Kuramoto explained. “We thought it’s about time we did it again. Get to do music and workshops and just spreading the love — grassroots, you know, the ‘beginning.’

“So we are going back to the Buddhist churches that serve as the center or core for our community. They have always preserved our culture through Obon and matsuri festivals. And now, more importantly, we want to support culture for the generations to come.

“The beginning of May we are going to do just that. These special programs will provide a rare opportunity to spend some up-close and personal time with Hiroshima. Throughout these special concerts of music, the members of Hiroshima will share memories and thoughts about the group’s early days and origins of their songs.

“Audiences will be able to participate in a Q&A session with band members. The hope is we can eventually add such dates wherever we are, and bring the vibe of live music and community and the occasional ‘talk story’ back.

“So this is where we are and where we are heading in the first quarter of 2015. Thanks for being part of the music and community that is Hiroshima.”

The schedule is as follows:

• Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m. at Monterey Peninsula Buddhist Temple, 1165 Noche Buena St., Seaside. www.montereybuddhist.org/

Tickets can be purchased through the temple at montereydec@gmail.com or EventBrite.com.

• Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at College of San Mateo Theatre Building #3, 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo. The sixth Asian Pacific American Film Festival will present Hiroshima in concert and a screening of “Cruisin’ J-Town” (1974), a documentary on Hiroshima directed by Duane Kubo, who will be present for Q&A. In the film, which predates the release of Hiroshima’s first album in 1979, the musicians reflect on their culture, musical influences, and the political movements of the 1960s from which Asian American music emerged.

Tickets for screening and performance: $40. For the latest information, visit www.collegeofsanmateo.edu/events or www.kimochi-inc.org.

Contact: Candy Takahashi, candacetakahashi@gmail.com or (650) 344-9172; Victor Iwamura, viwamura@sbcglobal.net or (650) 863-6256; Kimochi Inc., kimochikai@kimochi-inc.org or (415) 931-2294

• Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m. at San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St., San Jose. (408) 293-9292, http://sjbetsuin.com/

For more information on the band, visit www.hiroshimamusic.com or www.facebook.com/hiroshimamusic. Their CD “J-Town Beat” is available on the website and also at iTunes, cdbaby and Amazon.

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