About Jazz Katsu

Jazz Katsu is a Japan relief fundraiser you can be part of by enjoying just-cooked skewered pork cutlet – or "kushi katsu" in Japanese – and listening to great performances by some of the best jazz artists in the Bay Area. It was several days after the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster in March 2011 when the idea of holding a kushi katsu event for Japan came to Ken Fukui's mind, who often cooks kushi katsu in local events. Project leader Hiro Murayama then added the idea of combining it with a jazz concert so that people could enjoy music while waiting for the kushi katsu to be deep-fried, and that was how Ken Okada was brought into the project as music director.

Even though we had a great idea, it was not easy to find a venue that is equipped with a kitchen and a music hall that we are allowed to use. After rounds of searching, we hopelessly inquired at Wesley United Methodist Church, where we received a warm welcome. We are so grateful that we can co-host this important event with Wesley United Methodist Church Nichigo-bu.

The name Jazz Katsu is perfect for this event because the word "katsu", which means "cutlet" in Japanese, also means "to overcome". There are a lot of problems caused by the disaster that the people in Japan are still suffering from, and it is said to take decades or more to overcome the situation. Our mission is to remind people of the tragic event and let them participate in aiding the situation in a creative way.

Past Jazz Katsu Events

#1: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Raised $5,352.55
Sent to UMCOR for Japan Emergency

#2: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Raised $6,021.61
Sent to United Church of Christ in Japan

#3: Saturday, June 7, 2014
Raised $8,261.01
Sent to:
United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) Tohoku Disaster Relief Centers
Jazz for Tohoku

#4: Saturday, April 16, 2016
Raised $10,108
Sent to:
Aizu Radioactivity Information Center in Fukushima
United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) Tohoku Disaster Relief Centers
YMCA Kumamoto
Maday Project in Fukushima
Animals Go

#5 (Special Event for Kumamoto): Saturday, April 27, 2016
Raised $13,550
Sent to YMCA Kumamoto