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Return concert produced by the Japan Foundation “Central Asia and Caucasus Hogaku Performance Tour” to be held in Japan as “A Thrilling Night with Four Japanese Musicians and A Makom Singer from Uzbekistan” (Mar. 31, 2010)
Last November 2009, the Japan Foundation conducted a concert tour of four Japanese Hogaku musicians in four countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus region (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia). The musicians were Satsuma biwa player Kazuyuki Shiotaka, the Amami shimauta singer and shamisen player Shingo Maeyama, the guitarist and vocalist Kazuki Kunihiro and the improvisational percussionist Aki-ra Sunrise.

It was a concert that brought together three different types of vocals accompanied by three different types of stringed instruments—the rich lyric tradition of Amami dialect songs and the shamisen; the strong yet sensitive strains of the Satsuma biwa and traditional recitation; and free, imaginative flights of contemporary song and guitar—all woven together with freely improvised drumming. It was an exciting ensemble of music made possible by the virtuosity of four solo artists with their own well-established individual styles as performers.

Situated along the path of the historic Silk Road between West Asia and China, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan share a common tradition of music that traveled the historic trade route, as well as having their own richly distinct musical traditions. As for Georgia, it is a country with an equally rich musical tradition, including the polyphonic chorus music nurtured by the Georgian Orthodox Church. In all four countries the music of the four Japanese artists was met with a mixture of surprise and affinity. And, in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent there was a felicitous joint performance with a prominent female vocalist of the Muqam (meaning both the local traditional singing mode and the traditional songs) music tradition, Yurduz Turdieva. In that Tashkent concert, the performances of the four Japanese singers and Turdieva, and the unique improvisational back-and-forth calls of the shimauta style they engaged in inspired deep excitement and appreciation in the audience. With Turdieva coming to Japan for the upcoming return concert, the Japanese audience will have a chance to hear a re-enactment of the miraculous back-and-forth vocal interchange between the singers that thrilled the audience in Tashkent.

For details about the artists see the following website.
+A Thrilling Night of Music with Four Japanese Musician: One-night Concert of Hogaku Men and a Uzbek Singer – Amami shimauta + Biwa + Guitar + Water percussion + Traditional Uzbek singing
Performers: Kazuyuki Shiotaka (Satsuma biwa), Shingo Maeyama (Amami shimauta), Kazuki Kunihiro (guitar/ vocals), Aki-ra Sunrise (percussion)
Special guest appearance by Yurduz Turdieva (Uzbekistan)
Arrangement/composition: Kazuki Kunihiro
Date/time: Mar. 31, 2010
Venue: Za Koenji 2