Yoshida Nazarov Koichi is coming home to Kyoto! After two years performing music in Russia and Europe, shakuhachi player Yoshida Nazarov Koichi will return to Japan this January, and play his first performance at the legendary Zac Baran! Playing once again with his former bandmate, the jazz pianist Ikeda Ippei, Koichi has a fresh new batch of original tunes, traditional numbers and covers from all genres! As an added bonus, our good friend, the flamenco singer and dancer Carmen Alvarez, will also be joining in the night’s entertainments.
My apologies to all for the tardy nature of this post, but here finally are the videos from Yugao’s performance with Carmen Alvarez earlier this month. Incidentally, Carmen will be holding a flamenco party and performance at the restaurant Tio Pepe this Friday, so if you like what you see below, you know where to go. Entry is 2,500 yen which includes one drink and a plate of tapas. Here is a map to the location and Carmen says the start time is “19.00 or 20.00”, so good luck with that!
Here is the music. First an atmospheric number from the boys…
Then Carmen takes the stage in her kimono…
And finally the perennial favorite, “Spain” by Chick Corea.
Shakuhachi player, Koichi Yoshida is off to find fame and fortune in Europe over the next few months, but promises he will return to Kyoto from time to time, so when he does I’ll be sure to let you all know when Yugao perform in Kyoto again.
“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.
Wednesday saw another fine night of avant garde revelry at Urbanguild.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the evening was the flamenco/butoh collaborative performance in tribute to the late Kazuo Ohno & La Argentina (Antonia Merce). It was a very powerful, joyful, weird and wonderful celebration, a meeting across cultures and a promise; for as Bridget Scott said to me after, the dance goes on. Here are some clips (with sincere apologies to Chris Cobilis for not being able to catch his act).