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Legendary Okinawa Rock band Murasaki returns

Date Posted: 2008-05-09

One of Okinawa’s legends of rock ‘n roll has resurrected itself.

Murasaki, originally formed by keyboardist George Murasaki and the Shiroma brothers in 1970, is back in action. Joined by drummer Eiichi Miyanaga in 1972, Murasaki released two albums in mainland Japan, each selling more than 40,000 copies at a time most Japanese bands struggled to sell a fraction of that.

The band gained national attention and registered strongly on the mainland Japanese rock scene in 1975, but broke up only two years later. Murasaki, playing U.S. military bases against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, entertained GI’s in Koza City, popularizing the hard rock and rhythm and blues styles that became Okinawan rock.

After decades out of the limelight, George Murasaki last year reunited with three other original band members and added two new members as he prepares to perform at the Japan Rock Band Festival 2008, set for Tokyo later this month.

Murasaki will play to the home town crowd next Monday, a one-night-only performance at 7th Heaven Koza. The May 11th show begins at 9 p.m., with a ¥1,500 entrance charge. Reservations information is available at 7th Heaven Koza, (098) 982-1987.

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