Artists - Hosts and Musicians


George Takei - Host for Hours One - Four, is best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the acclaimed television and film series Star Trek, has more than 30 feature films and hundreds of television guest-starring roles to his credit. Widely recognized for his vocal talents, Takei has been a guest narrator for several symphony orchestras throughout the country. With the outbreak of World War II, Takei and his family together with 120,000 other Japanese Americans were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps.

Audio - Hear an interview with George Takei about Crossing East by WETA in Washington DC

Margaret Cho - Host for Hours Five - Eight, won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian in 1994. She made television history that year by being the first female Asian American to have a television series based around her.  Since then, Cho has had several successful one-woman shows.  In 2005, Cho released her second book I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, a compilation of essays and prose about global politics, human rights, and other topical issues.

Shasta Taiko - Theme Music & Profiled in Program Four, was started in 1985 by Russel Hisashi Baba and Jeanne Aiko Mercer, both recognized artists in traditional and contemporary Taiko, new music, and jazz. They have appeared in numerous concerts throughout the west coast and teach Taiko to all ages.

Purchase Spirit Drum CD

Hear our theme music here - 'Ashita' off of their album 'Spirit Drum: Taiko Stories From America.'

Wilma Pang, Professor of Music - Profiled in Program Two is a music instructor at City College of San Francisco. She is Organizer of the Cultural Program of the San Francisco Moon Festival and has performed on radio and television. She has also been a touring performer in the United States, Australia and China. In 1992, she received a California Arts Council Grant for an Individual Artist.
Cantonese Folk Music Society of San Francisco - Featured in Program Two are first-generation street performers in San Francisco, playing traditional Cantonese musical instruments.

Ledward Kaapana, Master Slack Key Guitarist - Profiled in Program Three
Ledward Kaapana records on the "Rhythm & Roots" Record Label. To purchase his CDs email kahokuproductions@yahoo.com. For more information on the Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festivals (Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Hawaii, Kauai), please visit hawaiianslackkeyguitarfestivals.com or email kahokuproductions@yahoo.com or phone (808) 226-2697. ledkaapana.com

Jon Jang, Jazz Pianist - Profiled in Program Six is a jazz pianist who has studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and toured at major concert halls and music festivals in China, South Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States. He is featured on over ten albums and has composed commissions for many theater productions and major concert halls. Jon Jang bio online
Daran Kravanh, Accordionist - Profiled in Program Seven, grew up in Cambodia in a musical family.  Now living in Tacoma, Washington, Kravanh produced a CD, “Music Through the Dark” that accompanies the book about his life by Bree Lafreniere.  Kravanh travels throughout the US and abroad to perform and tell stories about his life and the continued plight of the Cambodian people.  musicsurvival.com

Aishu Venkataraman, Violinist - Profiled in Program Eight, is a 13-year old violin prodigy, playing in a South Indian style. As Divine Strings, she performs nationally while her father accompanies on drums. While attending middle school, Aishu also takes lessons in classical and bluegrass violin and has already been accepted to a summer program at the Berklee school of music. divinestrings.com

Bios for Crossing East Producers

Bios for Crossing East Scholars

  © 2006 MediaRites - Contact Web Designer Sara Kolbet

Hosted By

George Takei

Margaret Cho

Major funding
provided by

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting

With additional
support from

National Endowment for the Arts

Oregon Council
for the Humanities

And underwriting support from