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Songlines: A concert with Ben Fong-Torres

December 6, 2014 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm


Songlines: A concert with Ben Fong-Torres and band featuring George Yamasaki

A Benefit for the CHSA Museum’s Chinatown Memories Project

CHSA Museum
965 Clay St. (between Stockton and Powell)
San Francisco, CA

$20 until Dec 2nd
$25 beginning Dec 3rd and at the door

Doors open at 4:30
Chinatown Memories Project videos at 4:45
Music starts at 5:00

Buy tickets here >>

Come join us on December 6th for a small concert with Ben Fong-Torres and his band, benefiting the CHSA Museum’s Chinatown Memories Project!

Ben and his ensemble will perform a mix of Elvis, American standards, and holiday tunes, including a version of “Fly Me to the Moon” celebrating the San Francisco Giants’s World Series win. He also promises musical echoes of Dean Martin and Karen Carpenter.

The Chinatown Memories Project gathers and shares stories of the Chinatown experience through videos, publications, exhibits. Recent featured videos produced by celebrated journalist Rick Quan include stories about Fong Fong Bakery and CHSA co-founder C.H. Kwock. Sample clips from our recent Chinese Valentine’s Day interviews of Chinatown couples will be screened at the event.

You can participate in our Chinatown Memories Project at Songlines! We encourage everybody attending to bring and share their stories for posterity.

 RSVP! Space is limited. 

This is a teaser for the new Chinatown Memories Project videos!

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 6.08.12 PM




Ben Fong-Torres photo by PJBen Fong-Torres is best known for his work as a writer and editor at Rolling Stone (and as a real-life character in Almost Famous). While at the magazine, he was a Sunday DJ on KSAN-FM. He has published ten books, including his memoirs, The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese American.

He writes the radio column in the San Francisco Chronicle, is a Sunday DJ on BossBossRadio, is senior editor of Qello Concerts, and has won three Emmys for his work as co-anchor of KTVU’s broadcasts of the Chinese New Year Parade. In 2003, Ben co-produced a CD featuring Larry Ching of Forbidden City nightclub fame. After Larry’s passing, Ben and pianist George Yamasaki, who had accompanied Larry, began performing at senior centers and community events.

Ben lives with his wife Dianne in San Francisco.

Ben’s Ensemble:
Katie headshot 2008Katie Guthorn was a lead singer for 25 years in Big Bang Beat (formerly Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra.) As a background vocalist, she has performed with Ronnie Spector, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Money, Martha Reeves, The Doobie Brothers, and others. From 1992 to 2002, she starred in “A Karen Carpenter Christmas”, in San Francisco and Seattle. For this role, she was nominated as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical by the Bay Area Theatre Critics. Katie also originated the role of Bella in “The Coverlettes Cover Christmas”, at the Aurora Theatre and Freight and Salvage in Berkeley 2008-2012, now continuing as a theatrical band. She has been teaching singing since 1988, and is co-owner of The Voice Studio in San Francisco. http://thevoicestudio.org

KathyKennedyKathy Kennedy has performed before thousands at events around the world as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lead singer for over 25 years in Big Bang Beat, she has also performed with Mickey Thomas’ Starship, Bonnie Raitt, and a variety of other Bay area bands, singing R & B, Rock and Jazz. Kathy co-owns of The Voice Studio in San Francisco, where she greatly enjoys teaching singing to people of all levels, from beginners to professional singers. http://thevoicestudio.org

Todd Swenson has been a Bay Area guitarist for over 20 years. He is the longtime guitarist of the band Big Bang Beat and has played with R&B singers Mary Wells and Percy Sledge. He spent several years as a member of Jules Broussard’s band and is a founding member of the band The Soul Delights. Todd is also a faculty member of the Community Music Center, which has served San Francisco for almost 90 years.

George Yamasaki, 2014. Photo by --Mark--George Yamasaki, pianist. Born and raised in Honolulu. Resident of Bay Area since 1953. Most notable musical accomplishment: Joining with Dean Reilly and Jim Zimmerman to accompany Larry Ching on Till the End of Time, the CD produced by Ben Fong-Torres in 2003. Charter member of the late George Yoshida’s J-Town Jazz Ensemble, 17-piece big band. www.georgeyamasakijr.com


December 6, 2014
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category: