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Author Topic: Japan Tour--John Miller  (Read 2173 times)

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Offline Johnm

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Japan Tour--John Miller
« on: May 23, 2006, 10:02:17 PM »
Hi all,
I am going to be making my first solo tour to Japan in the near future.  Here are the performance dates and locations for any interested parties.  Contact the clubs for show times.
   * June 3, Cafe Spanky in Matsuyama
   * June 5, Mokkiriya in Kanazawa
   * June 6, Takutaku in Kyoto
   * June 7, Tokuzo in Nagoya
   * June 8, Thumbs Up in Yokohama
   * June 9, Guitar Seminar at Martin Club in Tokyo
   * June 10, La Cana, in Tokyo
All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006, 06:44:49 PM by Johnm »

Offline Buzz

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2006, 08:04:23 PM »
Wow!

Have a great time, John! Japan will be a terrific experience. I am glad they appreciate your skills, and that you are touring there.

Bring back a koto and play it, record it, overdub some gourd fretless banjo, then some guitar, and some Reichman Mando, and some bass, some kazoo...Hope you have some great sushi, too!
Do good, be nice, eat well, smile, treat the ladies well, and ignore all news reports--which  can't be believed anyway,

Buzz

Offline Johnm

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 08:42:45 PM »
Hi Miller,
Thanks very much for the good words.  I will let you know how it all goes.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Slack

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 12:49:26 PM »
I see those well connected Japanese are providing you internet access... to check in once in awhile.  Hope the tour is going well and we're looking forward to a report!

Offline Johnm

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2006, 07:28:27 PM »
Hi all,
I returned from Japan today, leaving Narita Airport around 5:00 PM and arriving back in Seattle around 9:30 AM, which I guess got me back the day I lost when I went to Japan.  The tour was a wonderful experience.  I saw a good bit of Japan. The first gig, in Matsuyama, was on the Southern island of Shikoku.  All the other gigs were on the main island of Honshu.  I was tremendously fortunate in having Hiroshi Asada and Audrey Kimura set up the tour.  Hiroshi drove me everywhere on the tour, and I think his driving skills would not be out of place on the Grand Prix tour! 
I had not previously realized how mountainous Japan is.  I'm reasonably certain I went through more tunnels on this tour than in my life up to this point.  Once you get away from the big cities the island is very green, heavily forested and so steep that logging would not appear to be an option, which is all to the good, I think.  I was happy to be met by my friends Kazi Goda, and his wife, Keiko, when I arrived in Osaka, and was able to get in some really nice time with them visiting and sight-seeing, over the next day-and-a-half before the tour started in earnest.
Once the tour got under way, there was a lot of time spent in the car, since distances between the cities where the shows were scheduled could easily require 2-5 hours driving time.  Despite that, I was able to get in a tremendous amount of guitar-playing and practice, the most I have had in years, mostly due to being away from normal responsibilities and having my other needs taken care of.
Audiences were knowledgable and appreciative everywhere, and so quiet while I was playing that it was a little unnerving at first.  I remember seeing the Jazz pianist Dave McKenna playing a very quiet room once and darting sort of hunted looking glances around and realizing, "He wishes people would talk a little bit--they're paying too much attention to him."  I don't know that I felt that way, but I certainly felt that any screw-ups on my part would not go unnoticed!  Of course it is very flattering to have people hanging on your every note.  At every show, people would show up with my Japanese-issued CDs, and quite often my records on vinyl, to have me sign them.  One fellow at the Tokyo show had the JoAnn Kelly Blue Goose album on vinyl; I was kind of shocked.
I played Blues, Jazz Standards and some original tunes at my shows, generally starting each set with Blues.  There were definitely some die-hard Blues fans in the audiences.  The mention of Son House in the introduction to "Depot Blues" drew shouts and applause at a couple of shows.  When I did a clinic at the Kurosawa Martin Guitar Shop in Tokyo, a number of the attendees requested Blues.  Whatever preferences people may have had for the different styles of music that were offered, they were open to everything, which is also a really nice trait in an audience.
I would lose whatever credibility I have as a musician if I didn't talk about the food a bit.  There were regional specialities virtually everywhere we went--okonomiyake, from Osaka, a sort of savory pancake with scallions cooked into the batter topped with a sour sauce, miso noodles from Nagoya, shabu shabu beef in Osaka, and the best sauteed food, eggs with ginger, asparagus, spinach with pork, and other items from a little place in Kanazawa that I ever expect to eat.  Wonderful sushi and sashimi everywhere we went, too.
My hosts were gracious and welcoming everywhere I went.  In terms of the feeling I got playing for people there, it was somewhat akin to doing an event like Port Townsend or the EBA Blues Week.  It is a wonderful thing to feel valued in what you do, and any musician who claims that it doesn't really matter is not telling the truth, I don't think.  I have an old Cannonball Adderly CD where he talks about musicians liking to "take their egos to Japan", and after this trip, I think I know what he meant.  I would encourage any of you who have an opportunity to go to Japan to take it.  You will never forget the trip.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Buzz

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2006, 12:58:14 PM »
Dear John,

I am real happy to learn of your fine trip.

You deserve all the intense listening and focus you received, my friend.

Please enjoy the Japanese appreciation, let it linger. Add it to ours...

Buzz
Do good, be nice, eat well, smile, treat the ladies well, and ignore all news reports--which  can't be believed anyway,

Buzz

Offline Johnm

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2006, 01:15:44 PM »
Thanks for the good words, Miller, I take that very kindly.  I hope all is going well and I'll see you at Port Townsend.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Pan

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2006, 01:59:34 AM »
Hi Johnm

Congratulations on your successful Japan Tour!

Me and the wife had the good fortune to stay in Japan for a year-and-a-half in the mid-90's, so your report brings back some wonderful memories. Thank you for that!
The seasonal and regional delicacies are truly world-class in Japan.
And hiking in the beautiful mountains was among our favorite past-time.

Yours

Pan

Offline jed

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Re: Japan Tour--John Miller
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2006, 09:47:39 AM »
Wonderful news about your Japan tour, John!  Your good fortune was possibly eclipsed only by that of your audience.  See you at camp!

Cheers,
Jed
ok then:  http://jed.net

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