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Concert: Japanese Songs of Hometown — Healing Music for Your Heart
November 21, 2015 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am EST$25 – $30
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) and Mar Creation, Inc. invite you to join us for a concert by the Japanese singer Emme on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 2pm. Emme will perform “World Music from Japan” in two sets (40 min each), featuring Japanese popular music from the Showa period [1940’s – 80’s] as well as her own original songs. This is a rare opportunity to hear the classics of traditional and contemporary Japanese music that Japanese people truly love. Joining her will be Shu Odamura on guitar and guest Akihito Obama on shakuhachi.
Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at door.
Emme was born in Tokyo, Japan. Since she started her singing career in 1981, she’s taken part in countless recordings and live concerts with big artists such as Masayoshi Takanaka, Katsumi Watanabe, Yuming, Takuro Yoshida, EPO etc….. Her angelic voice is widely recognized across many different genres of music, including jazz, fusion, Japanese pop and folk.
In the music department of Tokyo University of the Arts in 1997, Emme graduated from special courses of traditional Japanese music. She has released four original CDs from 2001 to the present. Emme sang at a reception party for the President of Ireland upon his visit to Japan. She composed the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri official theme song, and appeared in the Thai movie “Yamada.” Emme played with Tokiwazu Mozibei and Altan, among many others.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Shu Odamura started taking guitar lessons at the age of 12. In 2003, he entered the Gibson Jazz Guitar Contest in Tokyo and was the youngest participant to win the ”Jury’s Special prize.” In 2006, Shu moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music where he was the recipient of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Award, and where he earned a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Jazz Composition.
As a guitarist, Shu performs and records with jazz ensembles, pop/rock bands, church choirs, and as leader of his own jazz groups. In 2010, he played on Mina Cho’s album “Originality,” which led him to be honored by “The 32nd Jazz Station Poll” as Top 3rd Acoustic Guitarist. This poll is conducted by renowned jazz journalist Arnaldo DeSouteiro.
As a composer, Shu composes scores for independent films, writes and arranges for jazz orchestras, flute/saxophone ensembles, pop singers and other ensembles. Shu recently composed the music for a feature length independent movie entitled “The Wishmakers”. His minimal-music piece “Kitchen Talk” was selected to air on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s radio program in Japan.
Shu is now based in New York where he regularly performs, composes and teaches. Shu was granted an Artist Visa from the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service which allows him to further develop as an artist here in the USA. He teaches guitar at Yamaha Music School of Bergen County.
Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1975, Akihito Obama studied various styles of shakuhachi under leading musicians such as Toshimitsu Ishikawa (traditional shakuhachi) and Satoshi Yoneya (minyo [folk music] shakuhachi). After graduating from the NHK Hogaku [traditional Japanese music] Gino-sha Ikusei-kai, the premier one year course for hogaku musicians aspiring to be professional performers, Obama won the Second Annual Shakuhachi Newcomer Competition (2000).
In recent years, Obama draws on his musical experiences and incorporates these influences into his own music. In 2004, Obama recorded his first solo shakuhachi album Fukoku [Wind Carvings] featuring improvised works. During the following year, he undertook a walking pilgrimage concert tour to the eighty-eight temples of Shikoku Island and revealed his second album Nami to Tsubaki to [Waves and Camellias and] consisting of his original compositions. In 2006, Obama was invited to the Swedish International Festival of Wind Music holding solo concerts and appearing with local musicians. This was followed by a month long tour of Europe. In 2007, Obama released visions. collaborating with electronic music artist hajimeinoue. In 2008, Obama was invited to the Japan Festival at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) and the Sydney World Shakuhachi Festival. He released Michinone [Street Music, New Sounds] working with satsuma-biwa [Satsuma plucked lute] player Yukihiro Goto. In 2012, Obama lived in New York for six months as a fellow of Asian Cultural Council (ACC) and released SUI [Water] with his band.
Currently, Obama performs as a solo musician and participates in various ensembles including “TAKiOBAND” led by Takio Ito, a minyo singer. He often appears in concerts overseas and has performed in over 30 countries. Obama has developed and refined his technique by performing in venues from small clubs to large concert halls with artists playing hogaku instruments and Western instruments. This has allowed him to penetrate traditional barriers and discover his own distinct sound.