Shamisen, pantomime, big band jazz - and that was only half of the show! The historic Warner Theatre hosted the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival on March 26, which featured a wide variety of Japanese and Japan-related artists.
The curtain opened to the national anthems of Japan and the United States, sung by students of Fox Mill Elementary School's Japanese Language Immersion Program. Performers Dois HAZUKI, Gamarjobat, the 6821 Quintet, and composer Miho Hazama's 13 member jazz Big Band wowed and delighted the audience. The night ended with a pair of spectacular vocal performances by award-winning soprano opera singer Asako Tamura and the soulful Brenna Whitaker.
Ambassador Sasae gave the last address of the evening to a sold out audience, welcoming people from around the country, and around the world, to the upcoming weeks of sightseeing and cultural performances.
If you missed this event, you can still see the 6821 Quintet perform around town on March 28, and Dois HAZUKI at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage on March 30.