“TOYOAKIMOTO” by Tatsu Aoki
National CD Release Party
SAN FRANCISCO: Sunday, July 29, 2012
1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. (Reception 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.)
Nihonmachi Little Friends' Tateuchi Auditorium,
1830 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California. (between Webster and Buchanan)
Free to the Public
CHICAGO CD Release/Press Party
CHICAGO: Thursday, August 9, 2012
12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m
1342 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois
A limited number of tickets will be available to fans at the cost of $20 each,
which includes the CD. For availability, please RSVP to rsvp(at)enericom.net by August 3, 2012.
Download Details and Press Kit
Asian Improv Records proudly announces its 83rd release, TATSU AOKI's latest CD,“TOYOAKIMOTO: Reconstruction of Tokyo Style Geisha Music,” on July 29, 2012 in San Francisco, California and August 9, 2012 in Chicago
(Press Release) - Jul 16, 2012 - ASIAN IMPROV aRTS, GENRYU ARTS AND NIHONMACHI LITTLE FRIENDS PRESENT TOYOAKIMOTO: THE NATIONAL CD RELEASE CONCERT SUNDAY, JULY 29th AT TATEUCHI AUDITORIUM IN SAN FRANCISCO
TATSU AOKI AND A 300-YEAR LEGACY OF JAPANESE CULTURAL ARTS
TOYOAKIMOTO: Reconstruction of Tokyo Style Geisha Music
CHICAGO CD RELEASE/PRESS PARTY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9th AT CAFE SUSHI IN CHICAGO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2012 (Rev. 3)
Lenora Lee/Asian Improv Records
Lenora (at) asianimprov.org (San Francisco)
info(at)enericom.net (National and Chicago)
Electronic Release/Images/MP 3 Sampler:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and CHICAGO, IL - - Asian Improv aRts, GenRyu Arts and Nihonmachi Little Friends are pleased to present the upcoming concert: TOYOAKIMOTO - Tatsu Aoki and a 300-year legacy of Japanese cultural arts. This special event celebrates the release of a new compact disc recording featuring music by Tatsu Aoki (shamisen - Japanese lute), Chizuru Kineya (shamisen), and Melody Takata (taiko - Japanese drums). Also performing will be special guests Francis Wong (saxophone) and Yangqin Zhao (Chinese hammered dulcimer).
The concert, free to the public, will take place on Sunday, July 29, 2012 from 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. (a reception with the artists precedes the show from 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m.) in Nihonmachi Little Friends' Tateuchi Auditorium, 1830 Sutter Street (between Webster and Buchanan), San Francisco, California. For more info visit www.asianimprov.org .
A Chicago CD Release/Press Party presented by ENERI Communications is scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2012 at Cafe Sushi, 1342 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois from 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by radio personality Rick O'Dell. Media wishing to attend should request credentials by e-mail to ENERI Communications at rsvp(at)enericom.net by August 3, 2012. The reception is being underwritten in part by Philip Wong, Esq and RKJ Legal. A limited number of tickets will be available to fans at the cost of $20 each, which includes the CD. For availability, please RSVP to rsvp(at)enericom.net by August 3, 2012.
Tatsu Aoki will appear and perform at the Chicago CD Release/Press Party, along with Amy Homma, Rika Lin and Lori Ashaikawa from Toyoaki Shamisen Ensemble. (In special appearance, Grand Master Shunojo Fujima from Fujima Ryu of Chicago, will take care of Kimono dressing for the Ensemble ladies that day, who will look spectacular.) On taiko will be Noriko Sugiyama, Jun Tnakanarita and Kiyomi Negi Tran from Tsukasa Taiko.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
The July 29th San Francisco performance (and the music on the CD) focuses on the music of Toyoakimoto, a geisha house in downtown Tokyo where Tatsu Aoki was born and grew up. The origins of the house and its arts date back to the famed “Edo” period, perhaps the most formative era in Japanese cultural history beginning with the ascendancy of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603. Within this house, the ozashiki shamisen music that Aoki has reconstructed was mainly instrumental and used mostly as interlude music before the featured geisha ladies appear, or to fill time in large parties and gatherings. For Aoki, known both for his achievements as an experimentalist in music and film as well as in the traditional Japanese cultural arts, this legacy is at the center of everything he has done as an artist. Joining him for the concert will be Chizuru Kineya, Nagauta Shamisen artist and an accredited master of the instrument from the legendary Kineya Shamisen family in Tokyo. Chizuru Sensei, is a critical collaborator in Aoki's process of recovering and re-presenting the historic Toyoakimoto music. On taiko will be San Francisco's Melody Takata, a frequent Aoki collaborator in both his traditional and experimental projects and one of the City's celebrated practitioners of Japanese cultural arts.
San Francisco-based Chinese artists Francis Wong (Asian Improv aRts co-founder) and Yangqin Zhao (Artistic Director of Melody of China) will join the ensemble for an excerpt of a new work composed by Wong and commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission.This new work, entitled “Reconciliation”, explores the interface of Chinese and Japanese cultural communities of San Francisco in the post-World War II era of Wong's parents.
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES Please check pdf link below for full listing.
This is an abbreviated release; for images, sampler and more, see
LINK for full PRESS KIT
“TOYOAKIMOTO” by Tatsu Aoki
Reconstruction of Tokyo Style Geisha Music
Asian Improv Records 0083
TOYOAKIMOTO [CD] pre-orders are available online via the website Amazon.com now.
Aki Aoki at Age 18, Unknown, Circa Probably Early 1900's
(Grandmother of Tatsu Aoki)
About Ozashiki Shamisen at Toyoakimoto
While popular geisha Shamisen music like Hauta and Kouta focus mostly on singing, Ozashiki Shamisen is largely instrumental. It is mainly instrumental and used mostly as interlude music before the featured geisha ladies appear, or to fill time in large parties and gatherings.
I was born in 1957 in Tokyo, Japan into the Toyoakimoto house which was traditionally categorized as "Okiya", meaning a booking and training agent for geisha ladies in a designated area in downtown Tokyo. While the economy and social environment forced many of these traditional artisan family businesses to close down in the 1960s, I was fortunately able to receive some of the important essence of traditional Tokyo geisha cultural training and studies at the age of four. I became part of the performing crew in early childhood. After my grandmother passed away, I continued the Tokyo music training until my early teens when I shifted my musical focus to American pop music and experimental music. I was an active performer during the early '70s in the midst of the Tokyo underground arts. -- Tatsu Aoki