in the past 2 days, I learned that we've lost two really great guys who were connected to Great Leap. Chris Iijima, who toured with Nobuko and Charlie Chin from 1969-1972, and recorded the first Asian American album back in 1973, passed away on New Year's Eve after being pretty ill the last two years. Chris was an amazingly gifted musician, who got nervous every time he performed. I worked with Chris a lot my first few years at Great Leap because we were booking a lot of "Grain of Sand Reunion Concerts" for Nobuko, Chris and Charlie Chin.
Herb Holman also passed away. Herb was Yuri Kochiyama's son-in-law, and Great Leap's financial guru. Herb was very smart, a really cool guy and totally supportive of the work we do. I just got an email from Herb not too long ago, giving an update on his battle against cancer, and I really thought he was going to beat it. I was stunned hearing about the passing of both Chris and Herb, and was fortunate to work with both of them for many years. My deep condolences to their families.