George Yoshida, Jazz Musician

George Yoshida performed at the Japanese American National Museum for their public event and exhibition, "Eastside Revue: 1932 - 2002, A Musical Homage to Boyle Heights" in 2002. 

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George Yoshida's vinyl collection with a list records on the top of the case. When Japanese Americans were removed from the neighborhood, George packed up a case of his 78 RPM records, his "lifeblood," and took them into camp with him. Currently being housed at the Japanese American National Museum.

George Yoshida (1922 - 2014) was born in Seattle and spent his teen years in Boyle Heights, graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1940.The son of a father who sang and a mother who played the organ, he was immersed in musical experiences from a young age. He played saxophone in the school's marching band before taking up the drums. He grew up hearing the strains of ranchera music wafting from the juke box of the neighborhood cantina. He reveled in the popular swing, jazz, and blues of the day that played on the radio and at youth dances. These eclectic sounds and experiences were the foundation of George's long, musical life — as a band leader, educator, mentor, and chronicler. You can learn more about him here.

‍In 2002, George Yoshida was invited to perform in a program presented at the Japanese American National Museum: "Eastside Revue: 1932 - 2002, A Musical Homage to Boyle Heights." Curated by Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara and produced by Claudia Sob. He was accompanied on guitar by Reverend Brian Qualls , assistant pastor at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church on First Street; on percussion by Maceo Hernandez of East L.A. Taiko. This concert was among the public programs featured at the museum during the run of their exhibition Boyle Heights: The Power of Place.

ACTA · Sounds of CA - Boyle Heights
“I took my case of records . . . 78 RPM records. And it holds about fifty records, and mostly Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey kind of things. My sister was very much upset when I took them because supposedly we were to take only what we needed to take and carry. . . But I was just determined to take them."
- George Yoshida