Live Booking Agency
TSURU TO KAME with Friends (JAPAN)
A Taste of a Lost Japan plus a Legend of Japanese Music
Generally available, now booking 2008/9
Line-up-Five musicians plus 1 manager/PA operator
Tsuru to Kame (Crane & Turtle) are female singer and taiko player Shigeri Kitsu and extraordinary tsugaru shamisen player and vocalist Katsuaki Sawada. Their remarkable renditions of Japanese traditional ‘minyo’ or folk tunes came to the attention of the legendary Haruomi Hosono (YMO, Sketch Show etc..) although Hosono and Kitsu had originally collaborated about 15 years ago, one of the seeds of the Tsuru to Kame project. Hosono joined the duo on their latest album Shakkitose while Hosono reciprocated by asking Kitsu to sing on his latest album, Flying Saucer 1947. Together with some other friends, this superb group is now available for overseas performances.
While minyo has been dying out in local communities, Sawada and Kitsu have been busily learning the songs from the locals and the original lyrics, which over the years had become desensitized. Many of the songs are used to accompany dances at festivals, others are working songs about planting rice, songs about the sea, mountains, ballads, children's songs and protest songs. A performance by Tsuru to Kame is a joyous occasion. A taste of a lost Japan.