Jul 23, 2013

Ashigara Mirai Ongaku Festival - a free event in Kanagawa prefecture, appearing Hikashu, Sakata Akira, Ishibashi Eiko, Jim O'Rourke, and others

There will be a small but nice music festival held in Ashigara, Kanagawa next month.

Ashigara Mirai Ongaku Festival (Ashigawa Future Music Festical, renamed from Sakasegawa Jazz and Rock Festival) will be held in Kanagawa prefecture on August 24, 2013, and Hikashu is appointed as the headliner for the event. The other acts are keyboard player Ishibashi Eiko's band, and veteran jazz saxophonist Sakata Akira.

As being a community project, Ashigara Festival is advocated by a local politician, Tsuyuki Junichi. Mr. Tsuyuki is the former mayor of Kaisei town (where the festival takes place) and also an old acquaintance of Makigami Koichi and Mita Freeman (They attended the same high school).

The event is admission free, and will be followed by a firework display. Japanese-style firework is surely worth taking a look.

August 23, 2013
Ashigara Mirai Ongaku Festival
@ Kaisei Mizube Sports Park
acts: Hikashu, Sakata Akira, Ishibashi Eiko with Mou Shinda Hitotachi (the Already-Dead People - Ishibashi on keyboard, Jim O'Rourke on guitar, Sudo Toshiaki on bass, and Yamamoto Tatsuhisa on drums)
admission free

Kaisei Mizube Sports Park, Kanagawa

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World Happiness 2013

Summer has come, and 'tis the season of music festival. Last year, Hikashu performed again at Fuji Rock Festival, the biggest rock festival in Japan.

This summer, the band will appear three festivals: Jazz Art Sengawa, Ashigara Mirai Ongaku Festival, and World Happiness. Among them, the last one is the biggest and most accesible from central Tokyo.

Judging from its artist line-up, World Happiness could be described as a sort of nostalgia event. Most acts are veterans from the seventies and the eighies. Having said that, we cannot help but thinking why Hikashu are chosen. Of course the band has been around 35 years, but they are actual and still continue to evolve. That's quite different.

Anyway, there's no doubt that World Happiness is a great event and it's always nice to see Hikashu performing at such a huge, outdoor arena. We still recommend more for Jazz Art Sengawa or Ashigara Mirai Ongaku Festival as musical event, but generally World Happiness offers what you'd have to pay ... Well, actually it depends. The bottom line is that it's a matter of taste.

The Japan Times had this to say:

In August, World Happiness (Aug. 11; Tokyo) is a real nostalgia trip for all those bubble-generation hipsters. (...) and those looking for a break from pure nostalgia would do well to check out Hikashu, who, despite their '80s technopop roots, have been constantly evolving throughout their 35-year career. Their current shows are an explosion of eccentric pop, avant-garde jazz, and something indefinable and uniquely theirs that leader Koichi Makigami terms "'pataphysic rock."

For your reference:

The Japan Times

Time Out Tokyo

August 11, 2013
World Happiness
@ Yumenoshima Park
Shinkiba, Tokyo
open 11:00 - start 12:30
acts: Hikashu, Takayashi Yukihiro (from YMO), Yano Akiko, Suzuki Keiichi, Shimizu Michiko, Shibasaki Ko, Great3, Midnight suns, Tei Towa, Tokumarushugo, Onuki Taeko, Okuda Tamio, Kirinji, The Osomatsukuns, and others
venue information (from Metropolis)

Yumenoshima Park, Tokyo

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Jul 16, 2013

Hikashu and Charan Po Rantan in Shibuya

Godzilla Radioactivity Hikashu at Fuji Rock Festival 2012 (2nd show)

On August 1, Hikashu will be the same bill as Charan Po Rantan, a sister's duo, at La Mama in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Since their debut, the popularity of Charanpo has been rising steadily - for example, they are to play at Aoyama Enkei Theatre (capacity 360) in two consacrating days of November.

These two groups have some opportunities to play together in the past. For instance, Charanpo have been choosen as guest artist for Hikashu's annual year's end concert for three times straight. At last year's concert, they did their own set, and singing with the Godzilla Legend ensemble which was augmented by Hikashu members and all women's horn section, led by the founder Inoue Makoto. The final number of the main set was Inoue's magnum opus, "Nihon No Egao" (The Smiles of Japan) with the chorus by the Charanpo sisters, and that turned out to be truly splendid.

Hikashu with Charan Po Rantan at Daikanyama Unit on December 23, 2012

Anyway, this is a must-see gig, and the demand for ticket looks surely high, so secure yours early. The ticket is available now at La Mama and Lawson Ticket.

August 1, 2013
"Hikashu and Charan Po Rantan"
@ La Mama
Shibuya, Tokyo
opening act: Yoshizawa Kayoko
open 19:00 - start 19:30
adv 3,500 yen - at door 4,000 yen
(one drink order minimum)
Ticket available via the club's box office
(or reserve via e-mail or phone)
Lawson Ticket (code 77125)
venue information - Time Out Tokyo

La Mama, Shibuya, Tokyo

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Jul 1, 2013

Makigami Koichi visits Norway and Denmark with The Living Room Trio this week

This week Makigami Koichi will go to Norway and Denmark to perform with the Living Room Trio.

from Copenhagen Jazz Festival website:

The Living Room moves in playful shuttle between superior improvisational abilities and lyrical tonal experimenting. The trio consists of three of the most highly profiled musicians, pianist Søren Kjærgaard, drummer Thomas Strønen and saxophonist Torben Snekkestad, and tonight they are extraordinarily visited by none less than Japanese vocal artist Koichi Makigami.

The schedule is as follows:

July 5, 2013 Kongsberg Jazz Smeltehytta, Norway (with the Living Room Trio) info
July 7, 2013 Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark (session) info
July 9, 2013 Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Denmark (with the Living Room Trio) info