2012 Artist and Performers

The Asian Heritage Street Celebration showcases the diverse talent of the Asian American community from comedians to hip hop performers and rock bands, to dance groups and cultural performances, there will be something for everyone all day for everyone on two stages. Here’s a look at who you can expect to see at this year’s 8th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration set for May 19th at Civic Center.

For the performance schedule visit: http://asianfairsf.com/performances/on-the-stage/.

Arianna Tolentino

Arianna is currently a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory here in San Francisco.  She loves to sing, dance and act.  She has performed in school musicals, like Little Shop of HorrorsBye, Bye, Birdie and recently, Into the Woods. She has also sung the national anthem at various high school varsity games, school events and local events like the annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration.  She will be an incoming freshman at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California where she received an Emerging Talent Scholarship.


Asian Improv aRts (AIR), founded in 1987, mission is to produce, present and document artistic works that represent the Asian American experience.

Asian Improv aRts goals: 1) To make it possible for artists to create innovative works that are rooted in the diasporic experiences of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. 2) To engage a next generation of community members in the arts through arts education. 3) To enable sustainability for artists and arts organizations in a challenging economic environment. 4) To facilitate creative collaborations that bring together major institutions, artists and multigenerational audiences and participants.

The Francis Wong Unit

Francis Wong Unit photo by Andy Nozaka.

Presented by Asian Improv arts, The Francis Wong Unit, featuring Francis Wong, Karl Evangelista, Jordan Glenn and Michael Shiono, performs original music, integrating improvisation, new compositions and expressions of its members’ diverse cultural and artistic influences. For over three decades Wong has performed his innovative brand of music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe with such luminaries as Jon Jang, Tatsu Aoki, Genny Lim, William Roper, Bobby Bradford, John Tchicai, James Newton, Joseph Jarman, Don Moye and the late Glenn Horiuchi.


Au Co Vietnamese Cultural Center

A volunteer-based nonprofit organization serving the community since 1986, Au Co’s purpose is to promote knowledge and a better understanding of Vietnamese heritage, language and cultural traditions; to promote and enrich multicultural communities; and to help build strong communication and understanding between generations and different communities.

 Brian Lee

Songwriter, producer and artist was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Francisco and for a short time living in New York.  The unique musical sound that has developed over time is a vivid reflection of Brian Lee’s eclectic upbringing and diverse environment.  Brian Lee has produced songs for artists in San Francisco and New York.   Currently, he is living back in San Francisco and is releasing a highly anticipated debut album “Fate” A Brian Lee Project, which is solely written, produced and performed.  His ambition and passion along with a deep introspect for music has set himself apart from his peers.  As a rapper/MC Brian has developed his own style of delivery packed with feeling, thought, and a stroke of cleverness.  Brian Lee has designed his first project “Fate” to be a journey of emotions and expression listeners from all backgrounds will value.

Burmese Youth Association

We are dedicated Burmese youths who want to unite and use our talents for the welfare of our community, our people and our motherland.  The group was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area, but is intended for all Burmese communities around the world, regardless of beliefs and backgrounds.


Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe from the Cambodian American Resource Agency 

The Cambodian American Resource Agency (CARA) was founded in 1998 by a group of Cambodian-American professionals and community members who had a deep interest in uniting the local Khmer community. The mission of CARA is to help initiate and provide support for community-based events involving the Khmer community in order to increase recognition and raise awareness of the Khmer culture. CARA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its programs are funded in part by a number of renewable grants.


Celeste Ignacio

Celeste was raised in the Bay Area and has been performing local San Francisco shows for years. An aspiring singer-songwriter, her voice transcends what you expect from her genre and always leaves her audience breathless with heart wrenching falsetto and glass shattering high notes. Celeste is currently working on her debut EP to be released this summer.


Chloe Yu

Chloe Yu is a 12-year-old from San Francisco who has performed at several Bay Area community events and talent competitions. In 2011, she placed first at the Marin County Fair and became the Grand Champion at both the Alameda County Fair and Santa Clara County Fair. Other vocal performances include the San Francisco Autumn Moon Festival and Inner Sunset Street Fair.


Diwa Kulintang Circle 

Diwa Kulintang Circle was formed in May 2009 by women, mostly longtime former and current members of the San Francisco, California-based group Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble (see www.kulintang.com).  The Kulintang is a Filipino indigenous instrument that resembles a set of gongs and come from the southern part of Philippines.

All of the members of the Diwa Kulintang Circle have studied extensively under the award-winning master Kulintang musician Danny “Danongan” Kalanduyan, the initial focus was on keeping up their kulintang music skills and maintaining their membership in the Palabuniyan Kulintang Ensemble. Each of the core members have between 10 and 20 years experience playing the traditional kulintangmusic of the Maguindanao and Maranao people of the southern Philippines.  To that they have added to their repertoire the traditional music and dance of the Kalinga people of the Pasil River Valley of northern Luzon in the Philippines.

Franco Finn

Franco recently finished his eighth season as the In-Arena Emcee and TV Personality for the Golden State Warriors.  Known as the “Warriors Hype Man” at Oracle Arena by thousands of fans, Franco’s job is to entertain the crowds, and his responsibilities include introducing the team’s starting lineup, hosting the pre-game show Warriors TV and conducting all the contests at the Oracle Arena.   He was also one of the weekly show hosts and personalities for the Warriors’ TV show Warriors Weekly seen on Comcast SportsNet.

Franco also freelances as an emcee for the San Francisco Giants and is the interactive host for their minor league franchise the San Jose Giants.  Franco has covered many sporting events around the Bay Area, from NASCAR to Red Bull’s Ride n’ Style.  He continues to work many special events around the Bay Area as a broadcaster, personality, and emcee.

Franco currently hosts his own sports and entertainment talk show called The Go Show with Franco, heard and seen on Open Line Media’s TRadioV Network found at livestream.com/tradiov.


Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music

Gadung Kasturi refers to the scent of the Gadung flower. The mission of Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music is to preserve, promote and develop the traditional dance and music of Bali, Indonesia, through live performance, workshops, classes, lectures and publications.

GenRyu Arts

GenRyu Arts is an interdisciplinary performing arts organization specializing in taiko, odori (dance) and spoken word.  Founded in 1995 and incorporated in 2008, GenRyu Arts supports San Francisco’s Japantown community arts programming, providing a place for the Asian American experience to be shared with the next generation.


Golden Vardo Tribal Bellydance

May Yang (Kyung A) arrived from the Republic of Korea as a former performing director for the International Bellydance Association. Her goal is to promote appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of the Golden Vardo tribal belly dance method. Her focus is on a unique, tribal fusion style of dance, incorporating influences from flamenco, gypsy and other styles.

Johnny Hi-Fi

With more than 10 years together and numerous U.S. and Asia tours under their belt, Johnny Hi-Fi’s alternative rock sound has captured fans all over the world. From the House-of-Blues America tour to the band’s videos reaching MTV Chi’s top 10 video charts, all the attention helped them land the “Artist of the Month” spot on Billboard Magazine’s Underground series and a feature in Billboard Magazine. The band has also been featured on MTV News, CBS News, the New York TimesWorld Journal and radio stations from Texas to Taipei. They have made unforgettable performances, like at the 2006 Beijing Pop Festival in Beijing, China in front of 20,000 fans. In fall 2010, the band released their seventh CD, titled Love Sold Me Out.


Kenneth Ronquillo

Kenneth Tan Ronquillo is a Filipino-Chinese-Emo-American from San Jose, California. He’s also a public health grad student at UC Berkeley, but afterschool, the glasses come off and he’s a one-man boy band. Between midterms, he wrote and recorded “Check Your Signal” entirely by himself in the closet of his studio apartment. Fans and friends can follow Kenneth’s musical adventures at http://www.facebook.com/musicbykenneth.


Mari Watanabe, “San Francisco Sailor Moon

Mari Watanabe is famous for dressing up as a certain magical girl and for promoting the Japanese language through song. Mari has hosted festivals and is popular for her singing at anime conventions. To add to her credits, Mari has also been featured in Shojo Beat magazine, Crunchyroll.com, Japanese television and Mexican media. But most of all, it is Mari’s very friendly and down to earth attitude that wins the hearts of her fans! You can also find Mari as a “Virtual Friendship Idol” on the popular avatar virtual world TinierMe.com.

Ms. Margot Lederer Prado’s Dance Group

“Tari Merak” or “The Peacock Dance.”

One Hunned

Traveling the World and back doing what you love is a great accomplishment. Not Only has One Hunned performed at the hottest festivals, college campuses, clubs, arenas,stadiums, and high schools, but the musicians that he performs with also bring exitement as well. One Hunned has performed with artists such as TI, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake just to name a few.  Being on tour throughout the year, One Hunned is able to maximize exposure to crowds in the millions in all demographics. Being of Lao descent, One hunned is also able to capitalize on the Asian and Pacific Islander markets as well. Celebrating Lao New Year nationwide and internationally will not only preserve culture but share the differences and similarities through music that brings us together. With an energetic and positive performance One Hunned will surely be a crowd favorite and a household name.

San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival

The San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival, aims to promote, preserve and celebrate Filipino American history and culture; to acknowledge contributions past and present by Filipino jazz artists; to educate, provoke thought, engage in dialogue; and finally, to entertain the public with performances by Filipino American artists.

Joel Del Rosario

Presented by the San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival, native Bay Area guitarist and composer Joel Del Rosario was classically trained on the viola as a child and grew up listening to the soulful sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire, George Benson and Stan Getz on the family stereo. When Joel’s mother died of cancer, he turned to the guitar for solace.  Joel is currently active in his community. He has raised funds for cancer awareness, counseled children and played music for a local church. Smooth jazz and hope collide into a beautiful set of melodies in his latest release, Calm in the Storm. As JazzReview.com proclaimed, “…Calm in the Storm is sure to sooth the soul, lift the spirit and inspire all who listen.”


Native Elements

San Francisco’s reggae favorite Native Elements, now in their 10th year as a cohesive unit, never fail to bring positivity and niceness to all of their music gatherings. As recording artists they spin a curious fabric of lovers rock, roots and conscious dancehall wrapped cozily in a bright “frisco-pino” treatment. A family before anything else, Native Elements strives to make their show a warm and inviting experience for all.


Parangal Dance Company 

Parangal Dance Company is a Filipino Folk Dance Group based in the San Francisco Bay Area that aspires to inspire.  Parangal Dance Company’s mission is to give tribute to Philippine heritage by preserving and promoting ethnic attire, music and dance through research, workshops and performances. We aim to serve as a bridge, inspiring and connecting Filipino Americans to their roots to give them a sense of pride and identity, while educating diverse communities to foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine culture.


Richmond Temple Music Group

The Richmond Temple Music Group is dedicated to preserving and promoting Lao culture and arts.



Sheryl Ann Padre

A young talented musician from Stockton, California who enjoys the presence of music. Diverse between instruments such as guitar, ukulele, piano, flute, tuba, and vocals. Sheryl recently teamed up with Artist Management company, The Luna Co. and is currently in the studio recording on her first EP to be released this year.

Rocky Rivera

Rocky Rivera is a hip-hop journalist and emcee who found international acclaim by winning a contributing editor position on MTV’s docu-series I’m from Rolling Stone in 2007. After lacking inspiration in the literary world, she decided to finally pursue hip-hop as a participant, not only as an observer, and began to fill the void with thought-provoking music you can dance to. A dynamic perfomer, her all-lady crew consisting of DJ Roza and emcee Irie Eyez display a daringly different side of hip-hop. Noted music critic Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation writes, “My whole career has been about getting people to hear the stories that need to be heard, and I think her story really needs to be heard.” Her debut album, Rocky Rivera, is available on iTunes, CD Baby and Amoeba Music stores.


The Seshen

Photo by Emalyn Lopez

The Seshen is a Bay Area-based band that draws influences from an eclectic range of artists, including Little Dragon, J. Dilla, Erykah Badu and Beach House.  Their music fuses hip-hop, soul, pop and electronica, producing an original sound that is not bound to any particular genre.

Songs are created and performed by bassist/producer Aki Ehara, drummer

Julian Pont, keyboardist Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman and synchronizer/sampler Kumar Butler.  Driving beats laced with Afro-Caribbean percussion, thick bass lines, rich keyboards and textured electronic sampling provide the foundation for lyricists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, whose dreamy vocals create an ethereal sonic landscape.


Traditional Thai Performing Ensemble

A traditional performing ensemble from Thailand will be brought to you by Wat Buddhapradeep Temple.


U.S. Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy

Headquartered in San Francisco, California with branch schools in northern California (Marin County, San Ramon, Santa Rosa, southern Peninsula), Seattle, Hawaii and Germany. Grandmaster Chan’s students include men, women, and children ranging in age from 10 to 67 years old. Everyone is welcome to visit and gain the benefits of the invaluable instruction he has been providing for over 40 years.