Sakurazaka Asylum 2020

The annual Sakurazaka Asylum festival comes to Okinawa next week in conjunction with the Trans Asia Music Meeting. Advertised as a ‘Music & Art Weekend’, numerous music showcases will take place at venues in and around Naha’s Sakurazaka Theatre on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February.

As before, the Asylum brings together a wide variety of musicians from Okinawa, Asia and further afield with the focus mainly on indie rather than roots music. For those wanting a taste of Okinawan roots as well there is another appearance from Sakishima Meeting pair Yukito Ara & Isamu Shimoji.

Among the overseas artists are Basque electric guitar-based rock band Willis Drummond. The trio sing in the Basque language and have just released their 6th studio album. They will be performing on Saturday (17:00) at Sakurazaka Theatre, Hall A. Before that they are touring mainland Japan and will also play in Koza, Okinawa on the 21st.  Their tour then continues in Australia, Tahiti, and Spain.

Basque band Willis Drummond

Isamu Shimoji & Yukito Ara of Sakishima Meeting

It should also be worth seeing Fanel the project by Toulouse-born French singer Bera who mixes Asian and European music with electronics. Her album Human was reviewed here last year. Fanel will play shows on both days. Another overseas musician delving into pop and electronica is the singer Pyra from Thailand, and on Sunday there will no doubt be a big audience for Japan’s Minyo Crusaders with their strikingly original updates of traditional Japanese songs.

Mention must also be made of Okinawa’s Harahells. The drums and guitar duo played last year at a tiny venue down the street, but their increasing popularity means they will be at the main theatre this time, at Hall B on Saturday at 18:45. Their set (like many others) will be just 40 minutes but promises to be one of the most fun if last year’s is anything to go by.

These are just some of my own picks but there are many other musicians to discover and full details of all the artists are on the website below, together with times and venues. Advance tickets are 7,000 yen for both days and 4,000 for a one-day pass. Tickets for the Trans Asia Music Meeting networking event are sold separately.

http://asylum-okinawa.info

Explore posts in the same categories: Live in Okinawa

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