Otakon ® 2008 Announces US Debut of JAM Project

Prolific supergroup to appear in Baltimore for 15th annual fan event

Tokyo, Japan (28 March 2008) – Superstar Japanese rock act JAM Project is the first announced musical guest for Otakon 2008, making their US debut performance as part of Otakon's fifteenth consecutive annual event. Otakon 2008 will be held from 8- 10 August 2008 at the Baltimore Convention Center and First Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, see the website at www.Otakon.com.

A “supergroup” formed of strong individual performers, JAM Project (“Japan Animation song Makers”) was formed in 2000 and is best known for catchy theme songs for popular TV anime, video games, and live action “tokusatsu” (special effects) television shows. Perhaps their most popular association is with the Super Robot Wars series of video games.

Their appearance in Baltimore will be JAM Project's debut performance in the United States. It will be the latest musical debut for Otakon, which has a long history of bringing Japanese acts to eager US audiences. Other Otakon musical guests have included prolific composer/performer Yoko Kanno, TMR (Takanori Nishikawa), Yoko Ishida, L'Arc~en~Ciel, angela, The Indigo, MUCC, Nana Kitade, and AAA (Attack All Around), and Eminence Orchestra.

JAM Project announced their “Japan Flight 2008 No Border” tour in early 2008. The group's current lineup consists of Hironobu Kageyama, Rica Matsumoto, Masaaki Endoh, Hiroshi Kitadani, Masami Okui, and Yoshiki Fukuyama, although other artists have come and gone over the years. Each of the current members is well known for solo work as well.

Hironobu Kageyama is known as “the prince of anime songs”, and is associated with at least 17 popular shows including Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, Dragon Ball Z, various Transformers shows, Sonic X, Shin Getter Robo, M.D. Geist, and Saint Seiya (known in the US as Knights of the Zodiac). He has recorded nearly 50 songs for the massively popular Dragon Ball Z anime, earning him the nickname “Mr DBZ”.

Rica Matsumoto is a popular voice actress and singer and one of the founding members of JAM Project. Her voice is perhaps best known as that of Satoshi (Ash Ketchum) in the hit Pokémon, but she has voiced dozens of roles, most often giving voice to young boys.

Masaaki Endoh is a singer/songwriter whose work can be heard in King of Braves Gaogaigar, Daigunder, and Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger – known in the US as Power Rangers: Dino Thunder.

Hiroshi Kitadani is a musician perhaps best known for “We Are!”, the main theme of the immensely successful One Piece. He has also been a member of Lapis Lazuli and Stagger.

Masami Okui is an extremely prolific performer, featured in over 50 singles and 17 albums. Her theme song work (with JAM Project, solo, or with other groups) includes an impressive list of titles: Revolutionary Girl Utena, Slayers, Sorcerer Hunters, Di Gi Charact, Magic User's Club!, Jungle de Ikou!, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.

Yoshiki Fukuyama is a guitarist and singer/songwriter who became famous as the singing voice of lead character Basara Nekki on the hit show Macross 7. He and his wife, Kyoko, often work as a team, with YOSHIKI composing the music and his wife the lyrics. Fukuyama has also been involved with several respected side projects over the years, including the band HUMMING BIRD.

ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its fifteenth year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 22,000 individual members for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 60,000 "turnstile" attendees). Otakon is a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff -- we are run by fans, for fans.

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