Grateful Crane Ensemble

The Grateful Crane Ensemble will present its 12th annual fundraising dinner, “Homecoming,” on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Toshizo Watanabe Culinary & Cultural Center, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo.

After two years of canceled fundraising dinners due to the pandemic, Grateful Crane’s annual dinner is back, live and in-person. “Homecoming” will bring us back together after being apart, to reunite and reconnect as we celebrate who we are, where we came from and the Nisei generation that has made it all possible.

Featured chef: Chris Ono, chef in residence, Toshizo Watanabe Culinary & Cultural Center. A Los Angeles native and a fourth-generation Japanese American, Ono is creating dishes evocative of his JA heritage, with influences from his French and Japanese training. He has worked and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants including Providence, Eleven Madison Park and Mori Sushi.

For this dinner, Mori will be creating a “throw-back” JA-style dinner focusing on seasonal ingredients and using the freshest locally sourced fish, vegetables and meats.

Menu: Jidori chicken teriyaki or salmon teriyaki over rice, sashimi, fresh Dungeness crab California roll, vegetable tempura, tsukemono

Show: “Sentimental Journey: A Nisei Life in Song,” a tribute to the Nisei generation featuring emcee Darrell Kunitomi and the Grateful Crane Singers: Jason Fong, Haruye Ioka, Keiko Kawashima and Helen Ota, and Michael Murata, musical director/keyboards

In tribute and in gratitude to our Nisei generation, Grateful Crane will embark on a sentimental journey through the singing of all-time favorite “Nisei songs” from before, during and after World War II. Whether it’s a Japanese children song, a “camp” favorite or a nostalgic tune from the post-war era, the show will take the Nisei back to the times of their lives and bring back special memories of their lives well-lived.

Tickets are $150. Seating is limited. For more information, email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *