Dan Kuramoto receives the Hall of Fame honor from Candy Tanamachi, Class of 1969, vice president of the Roosevelt High School Alumni Foundation, on Sept. 11 at Quiet Cannon in Montebello. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Hiroshima leader Dan Kuramoto was inducted into the Roosevelt High School Hall of Fame on Sept. 11 at a luncheon presented by the Roosevelt High School Alumni Foundation.

Kuramato was born and raised in Boyle Heights and attended Second Street Elementary, Hollenbeck Junior High School and Roosevelt High School, graduating in 1963. He earned his bachelor of fine arts from Cal State Long Beach, where he was the first chairman of the Asian American Studies Program.

He began to see music as the vehicle to voice his Japanese American heritage. In the 1970s, he met koto player June Okida Kuramoto, and her desire to create “new music” was the beginning of Hiroshima.

Hiroshima has released 17 full-length albums. The group earned its first gold album in 1985 with “Another Place” and a second with “Go.” The album “Legacy” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category in 2010. Hiroshima has sold more than 4 million albums worldwide.

Finishing their farewell tour, the band will perform at “An Evening with Hiroshima: The Domo Concert” on Oct. 29 at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo.

Kuramoto has composed music for various productions, including the films “Hito Hata: Raise the Banner” and “Life Tastes Good,” the TV show “Simply Ming,” and Luis Valdez’s play “Zoot Suit.” He also produced a song, “The Moon’s a Window to Heaven,” for the movie “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.”

Also recognized were:

Albert “Al” Padilla, Class of 1948, the first Mexican American varsity head football coach in the L.A. Unified School District. Padilla began coaching at Roosevelt and eventually became head coach for the Garfield Bulldogs in East L.A.

Joe Duardo, Class of 1949, a scientist who is an expert in the theory of gas lasers and also an advocate for better education as a member of the California School Boards Association and Whittier Union High Board of Trustees.

Danilo Lozano, Class of 1975,who received a football scholarship to USC, where he earned a degree in music. He is a two-time Grammy Award-winning flutist and a founding member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Every year he brings well-known artists to Whittier through the Inside Latin Jazz program. In a TED Talk, Danilo pays tribute to Boyle Heights as the neighborhood that gave him the attitude to persevere, excel and thrive in life.

Funds from the event go to scholarships and academic programs.

Leave a comment

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