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 Sunday, 29 November 2015
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Akira Tana's Secret Agent Men (and Women) at Half Moon Bay PDF Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Sunday, 21 August 2011
Akira Tana
Akira Tana

The Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society will present Drummer Akira Tana and his Secret Agent Men on Sunday, August 28th, at 4:30 p.m. at the Douglas Beach House at 307 Mirada Road, Half Moon Bay. Akira Tana will play from new release, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, jazz interpretations of the favorite music from the films of James Bond. Two Secret Agent women will join in as well: vocalist Annie Sellick and the Hammond B3 sensation from Osaka, Japan, Akiko Tsuruga, bringing a serious B3 groove to James Bond.  Akira has been a mainstay drummer for Bach Society performers, including Art Farmer, Eric Alexander, The Heath Brothers, Mel Martin, Larry Vuckovich, Rhoda Scott, and a group he co-led in the 90's with the bassist Rufus Reid, TanaReid that featured Mark Turner.


Akira Tana is recognized for his ability to ignite the spark of many top rhythm sections and create pure musical dialogue with mainstay soloists, his colorful interactive style has led to concert, club and recording work with jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, The Paul Winter Consort, Paquito D'Rivera, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Lena Horne, and The Manhattan Transfer, just to name a few. His work has not solely been limited to the jazz field; he has performed at the Tanglewood Festival under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Gunther Schuller and has accompanied diverse artists such as Charles Aznavour, Maurice Hines and Van Dyke Parks with performances on over 100 recordings. Tana has played at many international jazz festivals, and has toured throughout the world. In the jazz education field, he has given workshops and clinics at a number of U. S. colleges including University of Pittsburgh, University of Georgia, University of Miami, and Berklee College of Music. Of particular interest was a concert-clinic tour of South America with the Heath Brothers sponsored and presented through the U.S. State Department.

Annie Sellick
Tana co-led a quintet for approximately 10 years with the bassist Rufus Reid, called TanaReid. They had 6 CD's released five of which were produced by Tana. He has also produced a number of critically acclaimed recordings of note including A Tribute to Wes Montgomery (Vols. I & II) with Kenny Burrell, Kevin Eubanks, and 5 other guitarists and two Asian American Jazz Trio dates w.keyboardist Kei Akagi and Ted Lo. As a leader, Tana currently has a CD entitled Secret Agent Men on the Sons of Sound Record Label that features organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist Rodney Jones. 

Recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area after 20 years in New York City, Tana continues to be active on the international jazz scene touring extensively as well as performing locally in and around San Francisco with his own groups and groups led by others. Having taught at New Jersey State College, Queens College, New York University, and Rutgers University while in the New York metropolitan area, he continues to be educationally active by teaching privately and at San Francisco State University. He also conducts clinics and masterclasses sponsored in part by Yamaha Drums and Vic Firth Sticks.

Akiko Tsuruga
Akiko Tsuruga, the talented, New York City based Hammond Organist and pianist, Akiko Tsuruga became the exclusive organist of the Lou Donaldson's quartet, filling in the large shoes of her mentor, Dr. Lonnie Smith (who was Donaldson's organist for many years). Akiko has become an 'in demand' player since arriving from her hometown of Osaka, Japan in 2001.  After arriving in New York, Akiko established herself as one of the area’s top organist /pianists. Her trio featuring guitarist Eric Johnson and drummer Vincent Ector has been one of the area’s top groups, working at many jazz nightclubs including Dizzy’s (at Lincoln center) and The Blue Note. Her trio also plays private parties and summer outdoor concerts. Her long awaited debut CD, “Harlem Dreams” featuring Grady Tate and Frank Wess was released in Japan on the M&I Company label on 2004. "Sweet and Funky", Akiko's first release in the US and Canada and her second in Japan, has been receiving rave reviews. It has reached #13 on the jazz radio charts and received a four-star review from Downbeat magazine.

For more information about the artists, visit:

The Douglas Beach House is located at 311 Mirada Road, Half Moon Bay, CA; 650-726-2020. $35 ticket; doors open at 3 pm.  Visit for ticket purchases and other information.

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