Paul Kikuchi: Songs Of Nihonmachi

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Paul Kikuchi: Songs Of Nihonmachi
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Earshot Jazz says
Paul Kikuchi, a percussionist, composer, and instrument deviser who was named 2010 Emerging Artist of the Year in Earshot’s Golden Ear Awards, premieres a new installation and performance piece, his reimagined versions of popular songs of Seattle’s vibrant Nihonmachi (pre-WW2) Japantown of the 1920s and 1930s. The performance takes place at the historic Panama Hotel, in Seattle’s International District, which was a center of the city’s thriving Japanese community life until the disruption of forced resettlement during World War II.

Kikuchi undertook Songs of Nihonmachi as a second installment of a project of exploring the historical traces of his grandfather, who came to the US from Japan in the early 20th century, laid track for the Northern Pacific Railroad, and then settled in the Yakima Valley of eastern Washington as an agricultural scientist. For his earlier Bat of No Bird Island, Paul Kikuchi took a small collection of recordings of Japanese popular music that his forebear had left, and reimagined them in settings for contemporary western instrumentation with traditional Japanese performance technique, with excerpts from the recordings. Now, Songs of Nihonmachi continues that work of reclamation. Kikuchi has sought out the most popular recorded songs in 1920s/1930s Japantown and presents them in jazz versions with two acclaimed accompanists, Ivan Arteaga on reeds and Jeff Johnson on double bass.
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By: Earshot Jazz

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