PACOIMA — The San Fernando Valley JACL will present a swinging big band concert on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. at San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St., Pacoima.

An afternoon of classic and contemporary jazz from the 1940s to the present by Dan Taguchi and Friends, a 17-piece ensemble, with guest vocalist Nina Kasuya.

Admission: $15. For more information, call (818) 371-8013 or email

Dan Taguchi
Dan Taguchi

Taguchi has been making music since the seventh grade. He has performed with a number of musical groups, including the UCLA and CSU Northridge jazz ensembles. A woodwind specialist (saxophone, flute, and clarinet), he also plays keyboards, acoustic guitar, and electric bass professionally.

Taguchi has been teaching music in the secondary schools of Southern California for more than three decades. He is on the faculty of the Hale Charter Academy Middle School in Woodland Hills. Previously, he was at the Hamilton Academy of Music, the largest performing arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he taught Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi, Advanced Placement Music Theory, Guitar, and Musical Theater Pit Orchestra. He is the music director at Union Church of Los Angeles.

Ensembles under Taguchi’s direction have performed at such prestigious venues as the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Walt Disney Concert hall.

Taguchi is the co-composer of the musical play “Manzanar: Story of an American Family” with his long-time friend and collaborator Russell McCoy. He has worked with East West Players, as musical director for “Manzanar” and “Nisei Widows Club: Holiday on Thin Ice.”

Nina Kasuya
Nina Kasuya

His other musical theater credits include “Cabaret,” “The Sound of Music,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Me Nobody Knows,” “Grease,” “Chicago,” “Into the Woods,” “Anything Goes,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Damn Yankees,” “Promises Promises,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Some Like It Hot,” “The Pajama Game,” “Seussical the Musical,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” and “Gypsy.”

Kasuya, who attended CSUN and graduated from UCLA in ethnomusicology with a minor in music industry, has sung with a variety of groups, from college jazz ensembles to cover bands. While at UCLA, began performing with Vaud and the Villains, a 19-piece, 1930s-style New Orleans orchestra and cabaret.

Having performed in “Manzanar: Story of an American Family,” she told The Daily Bruin, “As an immigrant, I feel it’s a powerful and important story to keep alive.”

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