april, 2023

Improvisations on EO9066

15apr7:30 pm10:00 pmEvent Type Symphonic ConcertImprovisations on EO9066Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60601 Event Organized ByChicago Philharmonic7:30 pm - 10:00 pm(GMT-05:00)

Event Details

Chicago Philharmonic
Kaoru Ishibashi (Kishi Bashi) Violin, Vocals, Composer
Scott Speck Conductor

Improvisations on EO9066 Kishi Bashi

In this powerful concert, award-winning multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kishi Bashi explores Executive Order 9066, which saw the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans during the Second World War. This immersive, multimedia experience with Kishi Bashi and the full Chicago Philharmonic features photography by Dorothea Lange and the filmmaking expertise of Director JJ Gerber.

Critics have hailed Kishi Bashi’s work as “an uplifting documentary about a musician, but also about sympathy, compassion, and basic humanity” (Screen Zealots) and “a celebration of the diversity of America” (AU Review).

Tsukasa Taiko 2Opening the concert is Tsukasa Taiko, a Chicago community group dedicated to understanding and strengthening Japanese American, Asian American, and Japanese identities. Literally meaning “drum,” taiko is known for its thunderous sound and stunning, stylized choreography. With a 2,000 year-old history, taiko has its roots in Japanese court, theater, religious/ceremonial and festival music, where the taiko was just one instrument of many that comprised the ensembles that performed this music. In the mid-20th century, the kumi-daiko style evolved, which featured ensembles made up solely of drums. Since then, kumi-daiko has enjoyed tremendous popularity and in the US it has become a celebrated symbol of heritage and culture for the Japanese American community.


After Party: Chicago Philharmonic is hosting a ticketed after party for a limited number of guests, who will interact with Maestro Scott Speck, Kishi Bashi, and Chicago Philharmonic musicians. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are provided. Van Paugam, a Chicago-based DJ specializing in Japanese music from the 70s & 80s dubbed City Pop, will be featured at the event. After party attendees will also be entered into a raffle to win a concert poster signed by Kishi Bashi, Scott Speck, and Chicago Philharmonic musicians. 

About Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi. Born in Seattle, Washington, Ishibashi grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where both of his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. As a 1994 graduate of Matthew Fontaine Maury High School, he went on to study film scoring at Berklee College of Music before becoming a renowned violinist. Ishibashi has recorded and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and most recently, the Athens, Georgia-based indie rock band, of Montreal. He remains based in Athens.

Kishi Bashi is also the singer and founding member of the New York electronic rock outfit, Jupiter One. In 2011, he started to record and perform as a solo artist, opening for Sondre Lerche, Alexi Murdoch, and of Montreal. He supported of Montreal on their spring 2012 tour.

Following on from “Sonderlust”, he released his album “Omoiyari” (a Japanese word for the idea of creating compassion toward other people by thinking about them) in 2019, in support of his feature length documentary “Omoiyari: A songfilm by Kishi Bashi” which explores minority identity and the Incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII. After 4 years in the making and over $100,000 donated by backers across the globe, the film officially premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2022.

In 2020 Kishi Bashi scored the entire soundtrack for the touching Apple TV kids show “Stillwater” with composer Toby Chu, and released it as an album featuring 18 tracks of uplifting orchestral tunes.

His Emigrant EP, released in 2021, is a very special companion piece to ‘Omoiyari’ and serves as a time capsule of the 2020 condition and a continuation of the concepts explored in ‘Omoiyari’.

In 2022 he announced the re-issue of his debut album 151a in honor of the 10 year anniversary of its original release, as his first double LP which includes original demo’s of all the album tracks. “151a (Demo-arigato Version)” is available now on all streaming platforms.





We are thrilled to welcome our friends at Ballet 5:8 to the Harris Theater for Music and Dance as a fellow Resident Company!

Ballet 5:8 is a female and minority-led premiere ballet company recognized for remarkable artistic excellence, innovation and beauty. Mexican American Artistic Director, Julianna Rubio Slager, creates original and dynamic ballet experiences drawing from life, faith, current events and diverse perspectives that tell relevant stories of the 21st century.

Experience Ballet 5:8’s World Premiere of BareFace on April 22, 2023.


(Saturday) 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm(GMT-05:00)


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205 E Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60601

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