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Minidoka Swing Band: Wall Street Journal

Minidoka Swing Band: Wall Street Journal

Our own Minidoka Swing Band is featured on the Wall Street Journal web site.

There are many tribute bands, but none quite like this one. The Minidoka Swing Band started three years ago at a Japanese youth center, as a way to commemorate internment camps and the teenagers who enjoyed swing music behind barbed wire. Most of the original players were young people of Japanese descent. Today, the band includes several Anglos, and it often plays before rainbow audiences.


Henry Sakamoto, portland, oregon, Minidoka Swing BandPORTLAND, Ore.—The crowd inside the downtown city library goes wild as the Minidoka Swing Band launches into “All of Me” and vocalist Henry Sakamoto begins crooning, “All of me, why not take a-a-a-a-a-ll of me.”

Mr. Sakamoto, 83 years old, danced to that tune during World War II, when he and thousands of other Japanese-Americans were locked up in the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho. “I was a closet singer” back then, says Mr. Sakamoto. “But I sure loved those camp dances.”

Henry Sakamoto Wall Street Journal

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