Thursday, August 27, 2020

Japan Tour 2019

In October 2019 I had my first trip to Japan in 3 years, and my first concerts there since 2014! Although my partner Yuki visits Japan every year for time with family and some intensive work, for the last few years I've been concentrating on work at home in Australia rather than trying to make a music trip to Japan pay (which is a lot harder nowadays than when I used to go regularly in the early 2000s). Anyway, I'd really been missing my friends over there, the yummy food and especially the onsens (hot spring baths), so I thought I'll ask my old friends if I can come and visit and play some music together. Thanks to everyone who hosted concerts for me! I had a great time! 

I started playing tabla in 1994 so I billed this as my "25th tabla anniversary" tour.

Mon Oct 14 Hayama: 森のインド古典会 - Forest and Indian Music - The opening event of my tour was a lovely outdoor event dedicated to Late Pt Nikhil Banerjee, with a lineup of some of the most senior Indian classical artists in Japan as well as special guest Pt Ritwik Sanyal (Dhrupad vocal - Varanasi). I had a great time accompanying Setsuo "Jimi" Miyashita (santoor) for the first time in 10 years, and my regular music partner Taro Terahara (bansuri), as well as joining the final all-star jam. There was a bit of rain blowing around the stage at the last item, so I innovated and threw my shawl over the mic and tabla, playing "under-cover"!

with Setsuo "Jimi" Miyashita (santoor) - playing together after 10 years gap!

with Taro Terahara (bansuri)

All-Star Jam: L to R: Tetsuya Kaneko (pakhawaj), Kenji Inoue (sitar), Pt Ritwik Sanyal (vocal), Taro Terahara (bansuri), Shen Flindell (tabla). (Shree and Jimi-san on tanpuras in background.)

Thu Oct 17 Kunitachi: Taro Terahara private booking - I kicked off my trip to Kansai with a little college concert in Tokyo with Taro-san, a kind of lecture-demonstration at a music college. From the concert I caught the shinkansen to Kyoto...

Fri Oct 18 Kyoto: Sitar&Tabla Indian Music Concert - Minamizawa Yasuhiro + Shen - Thanks to Yasuhiro Minamizawa for inviting me to play with him at Nyan-Nyan Gallery in Kyoto. Minamizawa-san and I used to practise together regularly when I lived in Kyoto in the early 2000s.

Sat Oct 19 Osaka: インドの音楽 インドのスパイス - Tadao (sitar) and Shen - Thanks also to Tadao for hosting me in Osaka. We played together easily and naturally as always. Good times!

While in Kyoto I invited a couple of other old friends to come for practice. Carlos Guerra (bansuri) and Yohei Iwashita (sitar) had never met, and we had a great time playing together.

It was so nice going for a big long walk around my old home town...

Tue Oct 22 Tokyo: アムルート・マンタン#12 - Back in Tokyo, I accompanied amazing Kathak dancer Atsuko Maeda, along with excellent sarangi player Shinsuke Nishizawa.

Fri Oct 25 Tokyo: YOGINI(ヨギーニ) マントラ&バジャン ワークショップとコンサート - Yuki and Shen - I joined Yuki for her chanting workshop, playing a couple of bhajans at the end.

Sun Oct 27 Tokyo: ヨシダダイキチ&シェン・フリンデル  - My tour closer was with experienced Japanese sitarist Yoshida Daikiti, a very sensitive and beautiful player. Thanks Yoshida-san!

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