Tag Archives: Classical

Shakuhachi & Flamenco Live with Yugao – This Weekend!

Our old friend the shakuhachi player, Koichi Yoshida, and his band Yugao have an autumn show at Zac Baran this weekend and the wonderful flamenco dancer Carmen Alvarez is back from Spain to join the performance! You can see some clips of Carmen in action with Yugao from a performance last year here. A little birdy tells me that Koichi is planning to move to France soon… so this might well be our last chance to see this unique blending of musical cultures here in Kyoto for quite some time.

Blending jazz, classical, traditional Japanese and Indian music, Kyoto’s most popular fusion ensemble forms something a little greater than the sum of its parts. Three years of tinkering with structures and honing sonorities have only made this new and arresting sound even harder to classify — and more difficult to forget. Don’t miss your chance to hear YUGAO, live at ZAC BARAN!

From the top left clockwise: Yoshida Koichi (shakuhachi), Ikeda Ippei (piano), William Prunkl (cello) and Fujisawa Bayan (tabla).

8th (Saturday) Open: 18:30 / Start: 19:30
9th (Sun) Open: 17:00 / Start: 18:00
Advance tickets: 2000 yen / On the door: 2500 yen
Booking: http://yugao-music.com/ticket/ticket.html

Location: Zac Baran is a legendary cafe/bar/music spot on the north side of Marutamachi a short walk east of Higashioji Dori. Here is a map.

To learn more about Yugao and their music please visit their website. You can also view several videos of their performances there.

Links to the performers’ websites:
Yugao
Yoshida Koichi
Ikeda Ippei
Fujisawa Bayan
Carmen Alvarez

Yugao & Carmen Alvarez

“Flamenco is a gypsy/Andalusian art with its own language, which is spreading throughout the whole world, from Andalusia to Japan, and reaching the depths of all hearts without discrimination.”
- Carmen Alvarez


Another fantastic show from Yugao at Parker House Roll last night, and it was made all the more special when their special surprise guest, Carmen Alvarez, joined them on stage! Not content with their current blend of jazz, classical, traditional Japanese music and Indian percussion – they have added flamenco to the mix! Here are three videos from their performance.

This tune, “Takeda’s lullaby” (竹田の子守唄) is a traditional tune from our own dear city of Kyoto. Koichi opened our “Voices for Umekoji” event with this same tune a couple of weeks ago.

Carmen Alvarez joined Koichi on stage for “Tribute to Kumano Kodo” (熊野古道に捧ぐ). I wonder if anyone has danced flamenco to this tune before? It’s an unusual combination – but it works!

Finally, here is Carmen again with the full band and their rendition of Chick Corea’s “Spain”. I  saw them play this last summer and at that time Carmen happened to be in the audience and supplied some hand claps and jaleo type shouts. This time she was part of the performance and she was beautiful!

Yugao & Carmen Alvarez are playing again tonight (Sunday February 6th) at Zac Baran. Check here for details.

From the top left clockwise: Yoshida Koichi (shakuhachi), Ikeda Ippei (piano), William Prunkl (cello) and Fujisawa Bayan (tabla).

Shakuhachi player Yoshida Koichi will also be joining folk band Udonya Mentei’s Super Band (another “Voices for Umekoji” participant) for a show at legendary live house Jittoku on Sunday February 13th. Tickets are only 1000 yen and the show starts at seven. Here is a map.

Links to the performers’ websites:

Yoshida Koichi
Ikeda Ippei
Fujisawa Bayan
Carmen Alvarez

In Search of… Vinyl

I have previously written about the record shop Prototype, managed by my good friend Yoshida-kun but I’ve been thinking it’s time I added a few more Kyoto record shops to the list. I asked friend and collector Nana H. (that’s her on the left spinning discs at Joao) to give me some pointers and she recommended the following stores.

Bootsy’s

A pure, minimalist store without much decoration, this place is very neat and tidy compared to some of the other record stores in town. Genres include: Blues, Gospel, Alternative, New Wave, Progressive Rock, Reggae, Ska, World music and Jazz. Says Nana: “Most of the stuff here isn’t new, maybe up to the 80′s, or if Hip-Hop then the 90′s. This is where you come if you want to know where the new stuff comes from.” Bootsy’s is on the 3rd floor of the Takase building on the south side of Sanjo, west of the bridge, about two doors down from the Lawson’s convenience store. Here is a map.
Open 12:00 – 20:00 seven days a week. Tel: 075-231-5078

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