The Hamilton Academy of Music is the largest performing arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In 1987, the Academy opened with about 400 students. Today, the enrollment is about 900 students. Class offerings at the Academy include instrumental and choral music, electronic music, musical theater, drama, technical theater, and dance. Other courses include advanced placement music theory, piano, and music history. In addition, a rigorous academic program is offered. Recent Academy graduates have enrolled at such prestigious institutions as UCLA, Harvard, Stanford, New York University, the Boston Conservatory, the Berklee School of Music, and Juilliard.
The HAMILTON ACADEMY OF MUSIC JAZZ ENSEMBLE “A” was founded in 1987 by Director Emeritus, Sidney Lasaine. Upon his retirement in 1996, Lasaine was succeeded by Dan Taguchi. Over the years, the ensemble has earned a national reputation for excellence, and has performed at a number of top jazz venues, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, the Jazz Bakery, Catalina Bar and Grill, and Disneyland. The ensemble has won numerous first place awards at local, regional, and national jazz festivals, and has been awarded Student Music Awards by Downbeat magazine for its 2001, 2003, and 2005 CDs.
The Hamilton Academy of Music Jazz Ensemble “A” is honored to be invited to perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Dan Taguchi has been teaching music in the secondary schools of Southern California for the past 29 years. Currently, he is in his 14th year on the faculty of the Hamilton Academy of Music, the largest performing arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In addition to Jazz Ensembles “A” & “B,” Taguchi teaches Mariachi Del Oeste, advanced placement Music Theory, Guitar Ensemble, Beginning Guitar, and Musical Theater Pit orchestra. A woodwind specialist, Taguchi has performed with a number of prestigious ensembles, including the UCLA and CSUN Jazz Ensembles. Taguchi also plays keyboards, electric bass, and acoustic guitar professionally.
Taguchi has co-composed a musical play entitled “Manzanar: Story of an American Family” with his long time friend and collaborator, Russell McCoy, which was performed by East West Players, America’s premier Asian American theater group, from 2002 to 2005. Taguchi hopes for a full production some time in the near future.
Dan Taguchi would like to dedicate tonight’s performance to his mother, Mieko Taguchi, and his wife, Lily Taguchi, mother of their eight-year-old daughter, Kiana. Happy Mother’s Day!