Archive for the ‘Live in Okinawa’ category

Tidanomiyuki – Live in Naha

August 5, 2018

The Ishigaki singer, songwriter and guitarist Tidanomiyuki gave a live performance last night at Sound M’s in Naha. Presented as one of her monthly series of live shows known as Starry Nights, this one was billed as a Special Starry Night as she sang with a band and with an invited guest – the Hiroshima-born singer and pianist Hanako Kimura.

Tidanomiyuki’s band included Yuki Irei (electric guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Yoshio Hasegawa (accordion, flute, trumpet). Her warm personality engaged the audience from the outset at this small friendly venue. A trio of songs from her recent album – ‘Mother tree’, ‘Understood’ and ‘Loves’ – were the highlights in a joyful set that ended with her own take on the traditional Okinawan song ‘Tinsagu nu Hana’. She sang this with just acoustic guitar accompaniment and managed to rework the well-known song into her own individual style.

Hanako Kimura joined Tidanomiyuki and the other musicians on piano for a fun-filled finale that no-one really wanted to end.

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Ajiru Music Festival

May 27, 2018

The Ajiru Music Festival is organised by the band Kachimba and was held iyesterday in hot and humid conditions at Futenma Shrine in Ginowan. This was also the last live appearance in Okinawa by Mikel Urdangarin who returns to the Basque Country next week after a successful five week visit to these islands. At yesterday’s festival he played a solo set on the small shrine stage.

Here are just a few photos of some of the many other musicians who played at the festival.

Miyako Island singer Hirara

ghen – multicultural Okinawa-based trio

Unaigumi featuring the great Okinawan singer Misako Koja

 

Basque Night in Naha

May 25, 2018

Mikel Urdangarin’s concert on Wednesday (23rd) in Naha played to a full house at Sakurazaka Theatre and was the best so far of all his live shows in Okinawa as the first Basque Ryukyu Project nears its conclusion.

Last week’s successful Basque Night in Ginoza featured a live performance plus a talk on culture and identity with a backdrop of Basque-style food and wine. By contrast the Naha concert focused strongly on the songs and music with Mikel Urdangarin playing a solo set of his own compositions first accompanied by guitar.

He then handed over the stage to his guest Mutsumi Aragaki whose remarkable voice and sanshin blended in an experimental piece embracing loops and effects. She began her contribution by singing the words of thanks in both Basque and Uchinaguchi – “Eskerrik asko” and “Nifee debiru” – surely the first time the two languages have been fused in this way.

Mikel returned to combine with Mutsumi and with Makoto Miyata on percussion to form a trio for the final third of the concert. In this part things were taken up to an even higher level with some superb singing, playing and arrangements of Mikel’s original songs and some songs from the Ryukyu Islands.

The audience were clearly won over not just by Mikel Urdangarin’s heartfelt and passionate but controlled singing but crucially by his willingness to engage with Okinawan music, people and culture and to share his own thoughts, feelings and stories from the Basque Country. Not surprisingly he was called back for an encore which turned out to be his first ever live performance of the familiar Okinawan song ‘Tinsagu nu Hana’.

Mikel during rehearsal time before the concert

Mikel and Mutsumi after the concert

Before returning to the Spanish Basque Country next week Mikel Urdangarin will join the Ajiru Music Festival on Saturday (26th) at Futenma Shrine, Ginowan. The festival opens at 14:00 and Mikel is due to appear at 17:20. Among many other guests are Unaigumi (with three original members of Nenes), Miyako Island singer Hirara, Suming from Taiwan, and festival organisers Kachimba who will perform first as Kachimba4 and then with an expanded line-up as Kachimba Mundo.

Basque Night in Ginoza

May 21, 2018

Mikel Urdangarin’s visit to Okinawa as part of the Basque Ryukyu Project continued last Saturday evening with a Basque Night at Ginoza Farm Lab, a newly opened cafe and live music venue. The event was sold out and was a great success with Mikel giving a concert after a half hour talk session on culture and identity together with Daniel Lopez.

The evening also included much food and drink with Basque-style pintxos and wine available. In the concert that followed the talk Mikel performed solo at first and was then joined by Mutsumi Aragaki (sanshin, vocals) and Makoto Miyata (percussion). The trio concluded a very enjoyable and enlightening evening with a performance of the Yaeyama song ‘Tsuki nu kaisha’ with a newly written verse in the Basque language.

Yesterday Mikel gave another live show at Coconut Moon in Onna where he was joined by Mutsumi Aragaki. This Wednesday (23rd) is the final Basque Night concert at Sakurazaka Theatre where Mikel Urdangarin will play solo and again as a trio with Aragaki and Miyata.

These photos from Saturday at Ginoza Farm Lab were taken by Garaman Hall photographer Yuta Nakama.

UK Night in Okinawa

April 12, 2018

Ishigaki Island singer-songwriter Tidanomiyuki’s album Now and Then was reviewed here earlier this year. Now she is organising a UK Night in Naha later this month when as well as her own songs the live show will introduce  some of the indie bands from Okinawa who have been influenced by UK rock music.

Tidanomiyuki’s album focused on her voice and acoustic guitar but she also loves music from the UK and spent a year there studying in London and Norwich. She is planning to arrange her songs with a band sound for the UK Night event. The bands joining her on the evening will be The You, Viridian, and Mekarujin.

UK Night takes place at Live House Output in Naha on Saturday 28th April. It starts at 19:30 and advance tickets are 1,500 yen.

http://tidanomiyuki.wixsite.com/officialwebsite

Mikel Urdangarin in Okinawa

April 6, 2018

The renowned Basque singer Mikel Urdangarin is coming to Okinawa at the end of April. He will perform solo concerts and spend over a month on the island immersing himself in the music and culture of Okinawa in the first meeting of its kind between musicians from Okinawa and the Spanish Basque Country.

Mikel Urdangarin has been an important singer and songwriter for more than 20 years and has released 14 albums. He sings in Euskara, the language of the Basques which is thought to be the oldest in Europe. His many projects have included collaborations with the musician Rafa Rueda and the novelist and poet Kirmen Uribe. His latest album Margolaria (The Painter) is also the title of a feature documentary film about his career that is currently in production.

In Okinawa, solo concerts have been announced at Garaman Hall Lobby, Ginoza on 19th May and at Sakurazaka Theatre Hall B, Naha on 23rd May and tickets are already on sale. He will also appear at Coconut Moon, Onna on 20th May and at the Ajiru Music Festival at Futenma Shrine on 26th May. Before these concerts he will be a guest on the Ginowan City FM radio show ‘Lucy のイチャリバAmigos!’ at 11 a.m. on 7th May.

Last September I met Mikel for the first time near his home in the Basque Country and the idea for this Basque-Ryukyu project began. Now that it’s becoming a reality I hope friends, musicians and anyone in Okinawa with an interest in music and different cultures will take the opportunity to attend one or more of his shows.

www.mikelurdangarin.eus

http://garaman.jp/sf/

http://sakura-zaka.com/event-info/12893

Trans Asia Music Meeting 2018

February 1, 2018

The annual Trans Asia Music Meeting (TAMM) is coming up soon and will be held this year on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February at Sakurazaka Theatre in Naha. As before, the stated aim of the gathering is to build a music network between Okinawa and Asian cities, deepen mutual understanding and make it function as a new music platform from Okinawa.

The music conference this year has invited ten delegates with experience in world music markets and international festivals. They represent Mongolia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. These delegates will speak at six presentation and talk sessions over the two days. On Sunday there will also be an opportunity for a series of ‘one on one’ meetings. Admission is free and no advance application is required.

In conjunction with the Trans Asia Music Meeting is the Sakurazaka Asylum 2018 music festival featuring a large number of musicians from Okinawa and overseas. This year around 100 singers and bands will take part over the two days at Sakurazaka Theatre and nearby venues. As well as familiar names such as Maltese Rock, Isamu Shimoji and Yukito Ara, there’s a most welcome return to Okinawa by outstanding Korean alternative rock duo Laybricks.

www.musicfromokinawa.com