Kazutoshi Matsuda: new album and live show

Kazutoshi Matsuda is an Okinawan singer and sanshin player who is mentioned briefly in ‘The Power of Okinawa’. He has just released his second album ‘Uta Michi Aruki’ on the local Campus Records label (Tune-6). Born in 1976 he is a friend and contemporary of the ubiquitous singer, musician and producer Toru Yonaha who is also from Chatan on the main island of Okinawa. The new album continues the mixture of traditional and new songs begun on his debut. On Matsuda’s first album he took the familiar old song ‘Asadoya Yunta’ and changed it completely until it became a slower, moodier piece. This time he reverses the process with the traditional Miyako island ‘Ayagu’ which is taken at quite a cracking pace here, and like many of the tracks on the new album, Matsuda’s sanshin is accompanied by acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass and drums. This rather slick sound has become well-known from the likes of Parsha Club, Shakari, and Toru Yonaha himself, and it can veer towards the bland and formulaic, but Matsuda generally gets away with it here. The new song ‘Michi’ is one of the highlights, and the traditional ‘Hama Chidori’ is another. He also includes a new version of ‘Tinsagu nu Hana’.

I went to Mod’s live house in Chatan on Sunday to see Matsuda’s live show which was very enjoyable and included many of the songs from the new album. The three musicians with him included Masaru China, whose excellent guitar work seemed to bring out the best in Matsuda on stage. Not surprisingly, I ran into Toru Yonaha later in the audience. The previous week Matsuda and Yonaha had performed as a minyo quartet along with Tatsuya Shimabukuro and Sadahito China, at the all day ‘Sanshin no Hi’ (Sanshin Day) event in Yomitan.

Kazutoshi Matsuda

Explore posts in the same categories: Live in Okinawa, Okinawan Albums

2 Comments on “Kazutoshi Matsuda: new album and live show”

  1. Keith Gordon Says:

    Congratulations on the publication of the second edition of the Power of Okinawa. Very much looking forward to regular blog updates from the front line of Okinawa Minyo! There are very few resources out there in English, especially of new albums and emerging artists so it is greatly appreciated.

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