Special Event
Searchlight Serenade  
Saturday, February 1, 2014

5:00 p.m.  

Wesley United Methodist Church

566 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112

*** Please note that this event begins at 5:00 p.m.  We understand that this information was incorrectly listed elsewhere and apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.***

Big bands and music played vital roles in Japanese American internment camps, whether it was as therapy or as a connection to the Nisei's American identity. Now JAMsj public programs presents a unique fundraiser exploring these roles through a screening of the documentary, Searchlight Serenade, and a Q&A session with the filmmaker Amy Uyeki, and a special guest, Yone Fukui, one of the musicians featured in the film. Guests will also be treated to a special live performance from the Wesley Jazz Ensemble.


Searchlight Serenade gives viewers a first-hand look at the big bands formed during WWII in the Japanese American Internment camps from 1942 to 1945. You'll hear the stories of 9 musicians and singers, including the film's advisor Yoshida (who helped locate the featured band members), Joe Shiro, Yone Fukui, and Frances (Chickie) Ishihara White. KEET-TV and Uyeki bring their stories to life through archival footage and a 12-minute animation created from Uyeki's original woodblock prints and drawings. These works of art were inspired by actual events of some of the musicians and singers she interviewed. The film reminds viewers of the positive impact music and art can have on people during difficult times.


Please join us for a Q&A session after the screening with Uyeki and Fukui. This session will be followed by a live performance by the Wesley Jazz Ensemble, who will perform classics such as Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade," Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train," and Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind."


Amy Uyeki 
Amy Uyeki is an award-winning visual artist whose work can be seen in national magazines and book, including Print's Best Logos and Designs, Print Magazine, East/West Magazine, and Simple Screenprinting. Working extensively with woodblock prints and lino-cut prints, she has won numerous awards, including an International Achievement Award from the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) for banner design for the Redwood National and State Parks, as well as a Visual Arts Fellowship for printmaking from the California Arts Council. She's also a recipient of numerous grants, including the NEA, California Council for the Humanities, and the New Langton Arts Initiative. 


Yone Fukui 
Yone Fukui
was born in San Francisco and has played trumpet in numerous bands throughout his life. During WWII, he played at the assembly center in Pomona, as well as at the internment camp in Heart Mountain. While being trained for the Military Intelligence Service, he was a member in an all-JA band. After the war, he performed for 10 to 15 years with a San Francisco band specializing in Japanese popular music, as well with as the J-Town Jazz Ensemble. These days, Yone keeps his musical chops up by performing with several local bands.


Wesley Jazz Ensemble has become a permanent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing on a wide range of stages, including those of Sake San Jose, Nikkei Matsuri, and various community centers. The band has grown over the years from its start in 1996 with Troop 201, known then as the Wesley Boy Scout Band. Now consisting of seven horns, a full-rhythm section (five players), and five vocalists, the band performs a variety of songs, including the big band hits of the swing era, jazz, blues, Dixieland, Latin, rock and roll, J-pop hits, Motown, and

Wesley Jazz Ensemble 
today's popular tunes. Under the direction of founder Wayne Adachi, the ensemble was awardeda Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition (signed by the Honorable Michael Honda) at the JACL awards dinner (San Jose chapter). The award was given in October 2011 for its musical service (performances) for various community events in the South Bay. You can catch the group performing at church events, community organizations, and for senior citizen groups.

Cost: No fee at the door but donations greatly appreciated.

For more information contact PublicPrograms@jamsj.org or call (408) 294-3138 to reserve a spot.

  JAMsj logo

Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj)
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Tel: (408) 294-3138
Email: mail@jamsj.org