I’ve got a lot to write about in the last month, but I really want to tell you about this first! So here’s the concert information!
Last week on the 12th and yesterday, I supported & observe a rehearsal of Naoki Suzuki’s Pop Swing Orchestra this Sunday, the 22nd!
Anyway, it’s been great from the rehearsals! My head is already in a state of excitement and I haven’t slept much!
Starting with the super trio of Naoki Suzuki on clarinet, Ken Aoki on banjo and Yoshiyuki Takuma on vibraphone, who I have seen and am a big fan of at previous gigs, the pianist Kazune Tanaka, who I know from other gigs, Mitsuharu Ouchi on tenor sax, Hiroshi Kumamoto on percussion, others on strings, brass, drums and all the wonderful people got together!
And then, and then, I saw a guest pianist Yosuke Yamashita live for the first time! And he was seated next to me while we were waiting for other rehearsals. I was nervous and they were rehearsing, so I just bailed.
I could feel the aura in his piano tone!
This time, during rehearsals, I noticed that it is very difficult to prepare and clean up the instruments. Especially percussion, drums and vibraphones. They had to carry the instruments and assemble all by themselves!
It’s needed to assemble them from scratch, then disassemble them again and repeat. Moreover, everything has to be packed with cushioning material. Then you put them on a cart and move them around. It looks heavy from the outside!
And the basses and vibraphones are almost always left standing during rehearsals. I also had the chance to look at the bass from a different perspective, as it is not possible to leave the instrument on the floor, and I thought I would get a backache playing with that weight on his back!
The performers are truly amazing, playing with smiles on their faces, despite all the hard work!
The bandmaster Naoki Suzuki is of course very busy, but his wife Hiromi Hatakeyama, a former flutist and current music director, is also the manager, takes care of the performers, prepares and cleans up, and I have the ultimate respect for her. It’s great!
Ms Hosoda of the Nishiwaki Foundation Support Group, who organizes this concert, is also a senior member of the Nishiwaki Foundation, but she is still preparing the venue and advertising the concert to the audience, respected for her work very much.
This concert is made possible by such a wonderful group of people!
The music is also very nice! From jazz classics to film music and Japanese Showa pops! There’s Galaxy Express 999, too in the list! Hearing the orchestra live doubles the excitement and the performance is really wonderful! This is the fourth time I’ve heard this concert. But it’s evolving every year!
I know my report got long, but this Sunday, 22 January, the concert will be held at the Suginami Public Hall in Ogikubo, Tokyo! There are still a few seats available, so please come along!
[Title] Nishiwaki Foundation Support Group Presents Naoki Suzuki Pop Swing Orchestra
[Venue] Suginami Public Hall, Main Hall
[Date & Time] 22 January, 2023 Concert begins at 15:30 (doors open at 14:45)
[Special Guest] Yosuke Yamashita
This is a charity concert organized by the Nishiwaki Foundation Support Group, and all but the actual costs will be donated to support the education of children in Tokyo and other children’s institutions.
So please come, not just by all means, but definitely if you can make it! I look forward to seeing you there!