FM Salus

今日は僕が住んでいる駅のラジオ局『FM サルース』に出ました。親切なホスト『山中直子』と僕のピアノの教室についてや来月のたまプラーザライブについて15分ぐらい話していました。日本で初めてラジオに出た時は超緊張していたのですが、だいぶ慣れてきました。まだライブの為に予約をしていないなら、空いている席が少し残っています。是非遊びに来て下さい。

I was on the radio today in my home town of Tama Plaza! I got to talk about my piano lesson studio as well as my upcoming gig at The Early Bird Cafe with Yu Manabe with the very charming host Naoko Yamanaka. The first time I was on Japanese radio I was so nervous but I've gotten quite used to it by now. If you haven't made reservations for the show there are still a few seats left.
Click here for more info.


Tour Day 8-11

Day 8 Iwakuni 岩国
This gig had the worst turnout of any gig on my tour but the few customers who came seemed to have a really good time so it turned out to be a fun gig anyway. This place is a beauty salon in the day but at night it transforms into a Jazz club.

Day 9 Osakikamijima 大崎上島
I played a trio gig on a small island in Hiroshima Prefecture. The response from the crowd was amazing. I think someday I want to move to this island!

What a beautiful island!

Standing ovation


Day 10 Okayama 岡山
I played at a really cool club in Okayama called Soho. I did one set solo and 1 set with local musicians. There was a bassist, a drummer and 2 trumpet players during the session. The crowd seemed to really be into it and I had a great time.

Warehouse converted into a jazz club.

Jamming with the local musicians!

Day 11 Tottori 鳥取
The last gig on the tour I played at a famous Sushi bar/Jazz club called Sushi Gin. It was my fourth time playing there but my first time playing solo. In the past I had played there with Toku and Yuichi Tanaka. As usual, the crowd was very energetic and after the show I was treated to a sushi feast. 

The famous Sushi Gin.


Sushi feast!


Before coming home I went to a famous sand dune in Tottori. This place is the least Japanese looking place I have ever been to. It looks more like Saudi Arabia. 

My first solo tour is finished!


In Remembrance of Haruhisa Takamichi

After my gig last night I heard some shocking and depressing news. My good friend and bassist in my piano trio recently took his own life. He was a fantastic bassist and one of the top jazz bassists in Japan. He played bass on 2 of my CD's and we recorded 5 other CD's together. I was really looking forward to our trio gig coming up in two weeks and having him play bass on my next CD. I thoroughly enjoyed playing and hanging out with him. Every time I saw him or played music with him he was uplifting and excited to play music, which makes this even more of a shock to me. He was one of the first musicians I met in Japan and he introduced me to so many musicians. I am very thankful for his kindness and for his gift of music. He was truly a very special person and will be deeply missed.
My condolences go out to his wife and his family. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for them. 

彼と一緒に演奏して、演奏の合間に話したり冗談を言ったりするのが大好きでした。会う度に彼は明るく、音楽を演奏出来ることを楽しんでいました•••だから、余計に信じられないのです。彼は僕が日本に来てから最初に会ったミュージシャンの一人であり、たくさんのミュージシャン仲間を僕に紹介してくれました。彼の優しさと音楽の才能に深く感謝します。彼は本当に特別な人なので、とてもさみしくなります。 彼の奥様とご家族に心よりご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。



Day 7 Kokura

昨日の昼に小倉駅で新星堂の主催したライブをやりました。駅はそんなに込んでいなかったのですが、ピアノを弾いた時にたくさんの人が集まってくれました。夜に『Studio 106』というジャズクラブでライブをやりました。僕と『百色眼鏡』という地元のカルテットのダブルフィーチャでした。最初に『百色眼鏡』が演奏して、その後僕が演奏して、最後に一緒にセッションをしました。とても素敵なバンドでした。お客さんも本当に興奮してくれて、凄く楽しいライブでした。今日から岩国に向かいます!

Last night I played in the afternoon at Kokura Station. Shinseido sponsored the event and although it wasn't very crowded at the station a nice group of people stopped and listened to my performance. In the evening I played at a venue called Studio 106. It was a split bill with a local quartet called Hyaku Iro Megane which means 100 colored glasses. We each played a full set of music and at the end we had a little jam session. They sounded really good and the crowd was also really into it. Today it's off to Iwakuni!




The band and I

The owner and the owner's son
It was a really nice place to play!


Day 6 Fukuoka and Nagasaki

今日はまたライブを二本やりました。昼に福岡のキャナルシティでピアノを弾きました。ずっと雨が降っていて、ピアノを弾きはめた直後雨が上がって、弾き終わった直後また雨がザーザー降っていました。晴れ男といわれました。夜に長崎で『Kitty House』という素敵なカフェでライブをやりました。30人ぐらいが来て、ずっと真剣に聞いてくれました。ショパン好きの人はたくさんいたので、ショパンのCDからたくさんの曲を弾きました。カフェでビリヤードテーブルがあったから、ライブが終わったらちょっとビリヤードをやりました。ちなみに勝ちました!ツアーの前半は忙しかったのですが、凄く楽しかったです。後半もこんなに楽しかったら良いね!

I had another very busy double header. This afternoon I played a show at a really crazy mall in Fukuoka called Canal City. It was raining all morning but right when I started playing it stopped and as soon as I finished it started pouring again. They called me "Hare Otoko" which means "The sun man."
At night I played a show at a really charming cafe in Nagasaki called Kitty House. There were about 30 people at the show and they listened so intensely to the entire 2 hour show. There were a lot of Chopin fans so I played a lot of songs off the Chopin CD. There was a pool table at the cafe so I couldn't resist playing a game after the show. I won by the way! First half of the tour was very busy but a lot of fun. I hope the second half is just as good.

View from Canal City.

Tough work.

Kitty House

I was on fire!

The owners of Kitty House.


Day 5 Kumamoto and Saga


Day 5 was by far the busiest day of the tour so far. I played an afternoon in store performance at Shinseido at a mall in Kumamoto before heading to Saga to play a show at a cool jazz club called Satin Doll. For the gig at Satin Doll I played a long solo set and then had a jam session with some local musicians and I was surprised at the level of musicianship of the locals. The owner of the club played bass and he played a couple of tunes with me as well. Overall it was a great double header!


Jazz and Whisky. Can't have one without the other.

I did a little stand up comedy on the break.

Dueling Piano!

The full band. Everyone played so well!

Day 4 Aida Preschool Summer Festival

On Saturday night I was the feature guest for the Aida Preschool annual summer festival. About 100 kids and 100 adults attended and everyone was full of energy. I played about 30 minutes solo, 1 song with the principal of the school who plays violin, and then I accompanied the children on two songs. They sang so well! I also participated in my first Bon Odori which is a traditional Japanese Dance. Everyone knew all the moves and I was completely out of place but it was a lot of fun and they all said I did great even though I know they were secretly laughing at me. It was an unforgettable 4 day adventure in Hitoyoshi.



Very tasty lunch!


Day 3 Wa/Yo音の世界を

今日は僕が160人の小学校六年生達の為に音楽のセミナーをやりました。160人の中の一人しか生でジャズを聞いたことがなかったです。反応が凄く良くて、参加して欲しかった部分の全てに参加してくれました。2人が飛び入りで舞台に入って一緒に『Take 5』を演奏しました。5拍子なのに凄く良かったです。最後に色々な素晴らしい感想を聞かせてもらいました。一人が『ずっとピアノが格好わるいなと思ったのですが、今日の演奏を聞いてピアノが格好いいと思います』と言いてくれました。も独りが『音楽があまり好きじゃなかったのですが、今日の演奏は凄く楽しくて音楽が楽しいなと思いました』と言いてくれました。
こんな特別な機会に参加出来るときに大変嬉しかったです。司会してくれた平山さん本当にお疲れさまでした。Junior Chamber International Japanが『Wa/Yo音の世界を』という素晴らしいエベントを主催してくれて本当に感謝しています!

Today I was the feature of a music workshop for 160 6th graders. Of the 160 students only 1 of them had ever heard live jazz before. They were extremely receptive to my clinic and participated in everything that I asked them to do. I even got 2 kids to volunteer to come on stage and play Take Five with me. They did an amazing job too. At the end of the show many of them gave some amazing comments. One said "before today I thought the piano was so not cool but now I think it's awesome."
Another one said "I didn't really like music all that much but after today's show I found a new appreciation for it."
It was a very special opportunity for me to do a workshop like this and I want to thank Mr. Hirayama and Junior Chamber International Japan for putting on this great event.


Day 2 Torrential Rain


I picked the worst time in years to come to Kumamoto. They are having record torrential rains and parts of the prefecture are getting destroyed by flooding rivers. The river flowing through town here is way higher than normal but still at safe levels. In spite of the weather I had a fun day rehearsing for the concert I will do on Saturday night. I also ate some great chicken/egg soba noodles for lunch. 

I'm the feature guest at the Aida Preschool Summer Festival. 



An beautiful shrine in Hitoyoshi.


Flooding river running through town