Archive for the ‘Live in Okinawa’ category

Harry & Mac – Road to Okinawa

June 19, 2017

Road to Okinawa is billed as a ‘Talk Show’ by Harry (Haruomi Hosono) and Mac (Makoto Kubota), who have been for many years two of the most well-established musicians and producers from mainland Japan. Both also have strong connections to these islands. The Talk Show takes place on Saturday in Naha.

Hosono is probably best known for his work as a member of electronic music pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra and he has released many solo albums covering a wide range of styles. Kubota has also had a long interest in the music of Okinawa and is a musician, engineer, and producer. His Blue Asia projects and his work with singers in the Miyako Islands have attracted much attention in recent years.

What actually happens on Saturday is anyone’s guess but it seems likely that the pair won’t just be talking. They also have guests from Okinawa who will be playing live. The guest artists are Shoukichi Kina, Tetsuhiro Daiku, and Banjo Ai. It’s hard to imagine that Kina at least won’t have something to say if he gets half a chance.

Shoukichi Kina

Banjo Ai

Harry & Mac’s Road to Okinawa is presented by Takara Records and starts at 19:00 on 24th June at Sakurazaka Theatre (Hall A). Tickets are 3,000 yen in advance and 3,500 on the day.

http://www.sakura-zaka.com/

Advertisements

Uchina World Music

March 11, 2017

On Friday next week (17th) an Uchina World Music evening is being held at Sound M’s in Naha. This will feature live music from singers and sanshin players Mutsumi Aragaki and Kanako Horiuchi as well as Mina from London who is a singer, composer, sanshin player and violinist.

Mutsumi Aragaki, Kanako Horiuchi & Mina

Aragaki and Horiuchi were included on CD compilations presented at WOMEX and both took part in the ‘Music from Okinawa’ showcase this year at the Trans Asia Music Meeting. Horiuchi has travelled the world to promote the music of Okinawa and she made the acclaimed album Hana Umui in Senegal in 2015. Meanwhile London-based Mina took part in Sven Kacirek’s Songs From Okinawa project and appears on the subsequent album released in Germany.

Things get under way at Sound M’s at 20:00 on Friday and the entrance fee is 2,000 yen plus a drinks charge. (Phone: 090-1067-8055).

Trans Asia Music Meeting

January 23, 2017

The Trans Asia Music Meeting 2017 was a very successful event which enabled an open exchange of music and ideas. It took place over last weekend in Naha at three venues and featured lots of music showcases as well as fascinating talks and chances for people to network. The conference brought together speakers from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia and the UK.

Here is just a small selection of photos from the ‘Music from Okinawa’ organisers.

Keynote speaker Kazufumi Miyazawa

Keynote speaker Kazufumi Miyazawa

Miyako Island singer Hirara

Miyako Island singer Hirara

Presentation by Kwangmin Seo from South Korea whose band Laybricks also performed a great set

Presentation by Kwangmin Seo from South Korea whose band Laybricks also performed a great set

Sakishima Meeting

Sakishima Meeting

The conference on Sunday afternoon

The conference on Sunday afternoon

Musicians and music people get together

Musicians and music people get together

http://www.musicfromokinawa.com

 

Trans Asia Music Meeting 2017

January 13, 2017

The Trans Asia Music Meeting is being held again in Okinawa and takes place this year on the weekend of 21st/22nd January. Organised by ‘Music from Okinawa’, the focus of the conference is on introducing Okinawan music overseas and on ways to build an Asian music network.

transasia

The keynote speech on the 21st will be given by Kazufumi Miyazawa, former leader of The Boom whose hit song ‘Shimauta’ has become a classic in Okinawa. There will also be live music on the 21st from Hirara and Sakishima Meeting. The music showcase on the 22nd features thirteen different performances and includes music from South Korea and Taiwan as well as Okinawa.

Full details are on the Music from Okinawa website:

www.musicfromokinawa.com

Bottle Mail

December 3, 2016

Ship of the Ryukyu is a theatre company of singers and dancers from Okinawa. Last night I went to see their performance of Bottle Mail (Message in a Bottle) at Tenbusu Hall, Naha. The one hour show is written and directed by Megumi Tomita and has already been performed to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and in France at the Festival off d’Avignon.

The story depicts the small ancient kingdom of Ryukyu and how its people sent messages across the sea in bottles to make contact with the wider world and to tell people there about life on these islands. It’s no surprise that Bottle Mail was so well received in Europe as the entire show is full of warmth, energy and vitality.

bottle-mail

Songs and dances are alternated with a video backdrop that tells the story with subtitles in Chinese and English. The performances, by just eight members of the collective, cover songs and dances from the Ryukyu court as well as the everyday lives of the people. Included are ‘Tanchame’ which is performed as a duet, ‘Kurushima Kuduchi’ from Yaeyama, and the cheerful work song ‘Inishiribushi’ plus the ever popular Eisa.

bottle-mail1

Bottle Mail can be enjoyed by anyone and by all ages. It was a great evening and managed to be both entertaining and informative at the same time. If you are in Okinawa and want to have your spirits lifted it’s still possible to see the show today (3rd December) or tomorrow (4th) when there are two afternoon shows at 13:00 and 16:00.

Niraikanai Matsuri in Pictures

November 7, 2016

Heiko Junge returned to Okinawa from Norway as official photographer for Shoukichi Kina’s Niraikanai Matsuri which took place at the weekend in Ginowan. What follows is just a small selection of the many photos he took at the two day festival and also backstage.

Among the musicians featured in these pictures are Satoru Shimoji, Hidekatsu, Pascal Plantinga, and of course Shoukichi Kina & Champloose. Fortunately there was glorious weather on both days and the festival was a great success. Thanks to Heiko for the use of the photos.

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016 Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016 Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Nirai Kanai Matsuri 2016Kina Shouckichi

Niraikanai Matsuri

October 31, 2016

The Niraikanai Matsuri is a two day festival of music and entertainment directed by Shoukichi Kina. It will be held this week on Saturday (5th) and Sunday (6th) at Ginowan Seaside Park Outdoor Theatre. This is the latest in an intermittent series of Niraikanai festivals organised by Kina over the years and this one is supported by the 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival. Its aim is to showcase the rich and peaceful cultural heritage of the Ryukyu Islands and to provide a “worldwide music celebration for the future”.

niraikanai-festival

Saturday’s programme (15:00~21:00) is billed as a Ryukyu Entertainment Spectacle and will include traditional performing arts, classical Ryukyu music and eisa, while Sunday’s all music event (11:00~21:00) is scheduled as a Celebration Dance Party with artists from many genres. Among those taking part will be Satoru Shimoji and Hidekatsu – and, of course, Shoukichi Kina & Champloose.

Joining from overseas will be the band Mate Power from Germany who are also touring mainland Japan. There will also be a set from Pascal Plantinga who is coming from the Netherlands. Plantinga has collaborated on recordings with Kina and promises to show off some of his “electro-jazz-punk”. Advance tickets are 3,000 yen for one day and 5,500 yen for both days.

http://tiny.cc/niraikanai01