Enjoy a 90-minute program of music and narration that tells the history of Seattle's 1909 Panama Hotel and the building's significance in the Japanese American community, especially during WWII incarceration. Through the story of an imaginary farmer, Shinobu, born in Japan, the audience learns about immigrant esthetics, American discrimination against Asians, Nihonmachi prosperity before 1940, connection of Nihonmachi with Seattle's jazz scene, links to the novel "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet," destruction of cultural treasures before FBI interrogations on Vashon Island, desolate location of concentration camps, endurance embodied in the Japanese national anthem, the Selective Service Loyalty Questionnaire, owners of the Panama Hotel returning to Seattle from Minidoka, positive lessons from surviving incarceration, investing in future generations and redress.
The original music compositions abstract these themes and provide structures for improvisation by a jazz quintet consisting of trumpeter Jay Thomas, saxophonist Steve Griggs, vibraphonist Susan Pascal, guitarist Milo Petersen, and bassist Phil Sparks.
The program was commissioned by 4Culture, supported by the National Park Service, Office of Arts & Culture, and Earshot Jazz, and won the ASCAP/Chamber Music America award for Adventurous Programming in Contemporary Music.
Part of the Tateuchi Story Theatre Performing Arts Series sponsored by Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation.