Enka Superstar Jero: A Conversation and Mini-Concert

Enka Superstar Jero: A Conversation and Mini-Concert

University of California, Berkeley
Wheeler Hall
2011-04-08, 20:00-21:15 PDT (Local Time)

Free and open to the public

The Center for Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is proud to announce that Jero, the Japanese-African-American enka singer, has been selected as the winner of the 2nd annual Berkeley Japan New Vision Award. The Center will host an invitation-only award ceremony at 5:00pm on Friday, April 8, at the Doe Library Morrison Room on the UC Berkeley campus followed by a public on-stage interview and mini-concert at 8:00pm in Wheeler Hall.

Part Japanese and part African American, Jero (born Jerome Charles White) is enka’s rising star ever since his hit single Umiyuki burst onto the charts in 2008. His albums, Yakusoku (2009), Covers (2008), Covers 2 (2009), and Covers 3 (2010) have been widely acclaimed as he has revived interest in this music genre. Winner of the 2008 Best New Artist Award at the Japan Record Awards and the 2011 Berkeley Japan New Vision Award, he has also regularly appeared on Japanese TV and commercials as well as performing at the prestigious New Year’s Eve Kôhaku Utagassen concert twice.

The Berkeley Japan New Vision Award was established in 2009 to award an individual who has, in recent times, dramatically transformed our vision of Japan. Singing traditional Japanese ballads in an American idiom, not only has Jero rekindled an interest in enka among the younger generation of Japanese but he has also opened up the possibilities for fluent Japanese-speakers from around the world breaking into the entertainment and other industries in Japan. Given his mixed-race background, he has also become a symbol for the acceptance of a more multiethnic society for 21st-century Japan…

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