Japan Summer 2012
I recently came back from a great tour/trip to Japan. It's my second time there and got to spend a fair amount of time to be a tourist , socialize and perform. After a week in beautiful Kyoto I moved to Tokyo to meet up with some wonderful musicians such as koto player Karin Nakagawa, piano player Mami Ishizuka and record producer Makoto Myanogawa owner of Song X Jazz Records. While in Tokyo I paid visit to many record shops including Lighthouse Records where I found, with much surprise, the pre-release of Upperground Orchestra's "The Eupen Takes". Since I still hadn't seen it, I had to buy it.
Next stop was lake Yamanaka, in the proximity of Mount Fuji. Unfortunately it was raining the whole time so I didn't get to see the gentle giant. There I met up with my friends, guitar players Hideshi Takatani and Ohya Masa and performed along with other musicians from the area. Ohya is the owner of Sound Village an amazing facility in the woods equipped with several rehearsal studios, a professional recording studio, a cafeteria and dorms.
The following performance was in Osaka playing duo with avant-garde guitar player Shinichi Isohata. We played in a very quite and small room inside a French style café named Chef D'Oeuvre. Percussionist Kimura Fumihiko joined the performance in the second set. Everything was totally improvised and unplanned.
I spent my last week in Japan in Fukuoka, Kyushu where, needless to say, I had my good dose of ramen. During the Nakasu Jazz Festival, taking place in several parts of town, I joined legendary bassist Kiyoto Fujiwara and piano player Daisuke Iwasaki for three great concerts in different locations and for wonderful audiences. A special thank you to Etsuko-san for putting these concerts together.
I've been back for a couple of weeks now and I already miss it. Looking forward to spend more time there, playing and visiting.