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Sunday, May 2, 2004

KANSAI: Who & What

Takatsuki set to host sixth jazz festival: A large-scale, free jazz festival will be held on May 3 and 4 in the city of Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture.

Takatsuki Jazz Street is an annual event organized by volunteer citizens that attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year.

At this year's festival -- the sixth -- about 2,000 musicians will get together and perform at some 24 outdoor and indoor venues in the city, including locations around JR Takatsuki and Hankyu Takatsuki-shi stations, Takatsuki Gendai Theater and Takatsuki Shiroato Park.

Participating musicians include vocalist Grady Tate and saxophonist Ed Jones, along with Japanese performers Toku, a vocalist/fluegelhorn player; bassist Kenji Hino; guitarist Yosuke Onuma; and vocalist Akiko. All will play at Gendai Theater, with the Japanese musicians appearing at 7 p.m. on May 3, Jones at 7 p.m. on May 4, and Tate at 8 p.m. on May 4.

Most of the performances will be given between 1 p.m. and 9:40 p.m.

Admission is free for all performances. Commemorative T-shirts will be sold at the venues.

Gendai Theater is a five-minute walk south from Takatsuki-shi Station on the Hankyu Line, while Shiroato Park is a 10-minute walk south from the same station.

Takatsuki Station on the JR Line is a five-minute walk from Hankyu Takatsuki-shi.

For more information, call the event's executive committee at (072) 662-7222 or visit its Web site at www.0726.com/jazz/.

USJ looking to give all mothers a treat: Universal Studios Japan, a movie theme park in Konohana Ward, Osaka, is offering a special Mother's Day service at its restaurants from May 7 to May 9.

During this period, four of the park's table service restaurants -- Lombard's Landing, Park Side Grille, Saido, and Finnegan's Bar & Grill -- will offer mothers a free dessert or drink (soft drink, coffee or tea).

A photo will also be taken and offered free. No reservations are required.

A similar Father's Day offer is being planned for June 18 to June 20.

The park will open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the Mother's day celebrations. One-day tickets cost 3,700 yen for children between the ages of 4 and 11, 5,500 yen for people between the ages of 12 and 64, and 4,800 yen for those aged 65 and older.

The park is located near Universal City Station on the JR Line.

For more information, call the theme park's information center at (06) 4790-7000 or visit its Web site at www.usj.co.jp.

NPO to hold event for dogs and their owners: Knots, a Nishinomiya-based nonprofit organization that promotes animal rights, is holding a one-day outdoor event for dogs and their owners on May 9. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kobe Port Island Shibafu Hiroba square in the city's Chuo Ward.

Y2 Day With Dogs 2004 will feature several kinds of entertainment, including a demonstration of agility training, a demonstration of flying-disc throwing and catching and a dance performance by dogs and their owners.

There will also be games for participants and their canine partners.

Participation is free, but dogs must be kept on a leash. Dogs that have not been vaccinated against rabies and other diseases -- as well as dogs in heat -- will not be allowed to take part.

To get to the venue, take the moving pathway from Shimin Hiroba Station on the Port Liner.

For more details, call or fax the organizer at (0798) 67-0151 or visit its Web site at www.knots.or.jp.



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