Tickets available for JCS new year dinner

The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui will welcome the Year of the Sheep at its annual Shinnen Enkai (new year) dinner Jan. 24 at the Elleair Rainbow Room at the Maui Beach Hotel. The Shinnen Enkai will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the traditional otoso (sake welcome) with no-host cocktail hour to follow. Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The event will feature Keith Nakaganeku, who produced and released “Hawaiian Jazz Done Asian Style.” Nakaganeku began uta-sanshin at the age of 8 under his grandfather’s tutelage, and by the age of 14 was one of the first U.S.-born Okinawan musicians to earn the first-level certificate in the Geino Konkuru – a series of performing arts tests – in Okinawa.

He currently holds the title of kyoshi (instructor) and is the chapter president of the longest-standing Okinawan music association in Hawaii, the Nomura Ryu Ongaku Kyo Kai Hawaii Shibu.

Nakaganeku teaches private lessons in Honolulu and teaches regularly on Maui and on Hawaii Island. A versatile musician and vocalist, Nakaganeku is the lead vocalist and ukulele player for his multi-genre/cross-culture band, Calabash.

Cost for the buffet dinner is $50 for adults, $20 for children (6-11 years old), and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Tickets are available through the Maui Box Shop and Credit Associates in Wailuku, and Sanrio at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center until Jan. 19.

Tickets are limited and will not be sold at the door.

For more information, call Yuki Lei Sugimura at 870-8047.