I had a very interesting day in Ipswich this Saturday. In the morning I attended the launch of Ipswich Multicultural Projects (IMP), and in the evening I took part (with a tabla solo) in a mega-bellydancing extravaganza, Dance of Colours.
But the highlight of the day was witnessing the rehearsal of Sawako Fukuhara (koto) and John Kaizan Neptune (shakuhachi) at the Ipswich Civic Centre - their only show in Australia. John Neptune plays not only traditional Japanese shakuhachi music but also jazz and his own world music compositions. He has lived in Japan for quite a while and I've been trying to meet him for a few years. He had this one concert in Australia - in Ipswich, on a day I already had 2 appointments there - and remembered me and dropped me a line! Who would have guessed it?
I had also heard of Sawako Fukuhara via stories of a music exchange trip to India (organised by other friends of mine). What an amazing koto player!!! Just beautiful. They played a great version of Take Five, as well as a lot of sublime Japanese music. With luck I'll be able to meet up with them again in Japan next year.