University of Pittsburgh
July 24, 2008

Pitt Alumnus and Japanese Enka Performer Jerome "Jero" White Jr. To Give Concert Aug. 27 at the University of Pittsburgh

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh welcomes alumnus Jerome White Jr.—better known as Japan's pop sensation "Jero"—for a free concert at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 27 in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. White's unique blend of hip hop with Japanese ballads known as enka has made him incredibly popular in Japan, where his first single "Umiyuki" (Ocean Snow) debuted in February 2008. White is the first Black enka singer in Japanese music history; Jero's interest in the genre was inspired by his Japanese grandmother's love of the music.

White's success in enka is noteworthy because his music brings generations together in appreciation of a genre that has not typically been favored by Japanese youth. Enka is known for its melancholy lyrics, often portraying idealized and romantic views of Japanese culture.

Though the concert is free, priority seating will be given to students and community members who reserve ticket passes, as seating is limited. Ticket passes may be obtained beginning Aug. 13 through the Asian Studies Center (4104 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland). Doors at the performance will open at 7:45 p.m. to those with ticket passes, and limited general seating will begin at 8:20 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear Pitt apparel to the concert. For more information about tickets, contact the Asian Studies Center at 412-648-7426.

Raised in Pittsburgh, White graduated from Pitt in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in information sciences. He also took Japanese language classes while studying at Pitt and was enrolled in the Asian Studies certificate program.

After he graduated, White moved to Japan to pursue his dream of becoming a professional enka singer. First working as an English teacher and computer engineer, White was scouted by Victor Entertainment after racking up multiple wins at karaoke competitions. He was trained in enka techniques for two years prior to the release of his debut single and his first album "Covers" in June 2008.

The event is sponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Center in the University Center for International Studies, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Japan Iron and Steel Federation/Mitsubishi Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh, and by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.

Contact Jennifer Murawski for more information at jennm@pitt.edu or 412-648-7426, or visit www.ucis.pitt.edu/asc/jero.html.

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