Music Festivals in Japan 2017

Here is a listing of this year’s music festivals in Japan for the summer of 2017.

Rock and Electronic

Fuji Rock Festival

July 28-30, Naeba Ski Resort, Nagano Prefecture featuring Bjork, Gorillaz, Aphex Twin, The Amazons (up and coming from Reading, UK), Mondo Grosso, Lorde. For the full line-up and ticket details see the website below.
www.fujirockfestival.com (3-day ticket 43,000 yen)

Music Festivals in Japan 2016.

Rock in Japan

August 5-6 & 11-12, Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki with Art-School, Dragon Ash, G-Freak Factory, Super Beaver, Lisa, Crossfaith, Shout It Out, Bigmama, Mucc, Flower Flower, AK-69. See the website for the full line-up and ticket information.
rijfes.jp

Rising Sun Festival (RSR)

August 11-12, Ishikari, Hokkaido with domestic Japanese bands including Uverworld, B’z, Rise, The Oral Cigarettes, My Hair Is Bad, Glim Spanky, Shank, Namba69, Radwimps. Tickets 24,500 yen for the 2 days.
rsr.wess.co.jp

Summer Sonic

August 19-20, Tokyo (QVC Marine Field & Makuhari Messe) and Osaka (Maishima) with Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, Baby Metal, Pikotaro. 30,500 yen for the two days.
Summer Sonic

Labyrinth

Sept 16-18, Naeba Greenland, Niigata. Quality techno festival in the hills of Niigata Prefecture.
www.mindgames.jp

Ringo Fes

August 23-24, Matsumoto. Zazen Boys, Ogre You Asshole, Tofu Beats, D.A.N, Yogee New Waves, Kan Sano.
ringofes.info

Other Festivals

Sapporo City Jazz

July-August, Sapporo
sapporocityjazz.jp

Pacific Music Festival (classical)

July-August, Sapporo
www.pmf.or.jp

Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (classical)

August 13-September 10, Matsumoto, Nagano
www.ozawa-festival.com

Orchestra, Chamber, Opera.

Monterey Jazz Festival

July 29, Noto, Ishikawa. Tickets 5,000 yen.
www.mjfinnoto.jp

Tokyo Jazz Festival

Sept 1-3, NHK Hall, Yoyogi Park

Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Benjamin Herman, OMSB.
www.tokyo-jazz.com

Tokyo Idol Festival

August 5-7, Diver City Tokyo, Odaiba. i☆Ris, @17, atME, ANNA☆S, AKB48 Team 8, SKE48, HKT48, STU48, NGT48. Tickets 16,500 yen for 3 days.
idolfes.com

World Music & Dance Festival

August 5-11, Motomachi Park, Hakodate, Hokkaido
wmdf.org

Earth Celebration

August 18-20, Ogi, Sado Island with Kodo.
www.kodo.or.jp

Earth Celebration on Sado Island.

© JapanVisitor.com

Xie Brings Modern Color to Japanese Musical Tradition

詩吟

Shigin (詩吟) is an ancient Japanese poetry recitation, sung or chanted, based on Chinese texts and has been an art form in Japan for about the past fifteen hundred years. The Chinese evolved in a Japanese way and took on Japanese themes and styles.

Shigin unit xie performs at Graffiti, Akasaka, Tokyo.
xie at Graffiti in Akasaka, Tokyo

Shigin has never been a major art form in Japan, and is particularly hard to come by today.

However, shigin has been given an infusion of modern energy and attention thanks to the activities of its contemporary protagonists, a duo called Xie.

Xie comprises the shigin singer, Keisei, the main instrumentalist, Hagi, and woodwind instrumentalist, Soh Tanomura. Hagi and Keisei began their collaboration a few years ago when Hagi heard Keisei perform.

Hagi specializes in synthesizer music, and his style is characterized by rich, soaring compositions with an inspiringly heavily influ

xie performs at live house Graffiti in Akasaka, Tokyo, 7 April 2017.
xie and the audience at Graffiti in Akasaka, April 7, 2017

enced by the sounds of nature. There are undertones of melancholy and nostalgia uplifted by great aspiring melodies, which, in concert, take the listener on a journey through vast spaces, over great distances.

Hagi’s instrumentalization finds the perfect marriage in Keisei’s voice, which in its shigin recitation is powerful, true and flies on the wings of tradition by way of its extended vocal techniques.

Keisei is as skilled a performer as singer, and her traditionally inspired costumes and dancing form an essential, and entrancing, part of her act.

The shakuhachi player, Soh Tanomura, has been a part of Xie for the past four years, and brings the earthy and airy sounds of that old Japanese wind instrument to further color the magic sound.

I regularly attend Xie performances that take place in venues throughout Tokyo on occasion. I was in Akasaka on Friday night, at a live house called Grafitti, to see and hear Xie perform, followed by a duo called NeoBallad, which also gives a contemporary spin to Japan’s musical traditions.

Vocalist Keisei, of xie, on stage at Graffiti live house in Akasaka, Tokyo.
Vocalist-cum-performer Keisei on stage of Graffiti, Akasaka, Tokyo

Besides the appearances of the musicians themselves, where song and dance is interspersed with plenty of spoken repartee between performers and audience, one aspect of Xie concerts that I also like is how the audiences are wonderfully diverse in terms of age, attire, and atmosphere. Xie clearly has broad appeal and does not preach just to the converted.

Xie performs sporadically, and its schedule can be found on the Xie website and Xie Facebook page. If you’re in Tokyo next time they’re performing, Xie (and I – the bald white guy with glasses) would love to see you there!

© JapanVisitor.com

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Xie Brings Modern Color to Japanese Musical Tradition

詩吟

Shigin (詩吟) is an ancient Japanese poetry recitation, sung or chanted, based on Chinese texts and has been an art form in Japan for about the past fifteen hundred years. The Chinese evolved in a Japanese way and took on Japanese themes and styles.

Shigin unit xie performs at Graffiti, Akasaka, Tokyo.
xie at Graffiti in Akasaka, Tokyo

Shigin has never been a major art form in Japan, and is particularly hard to come by today.

However, shigin has been given an infusion of modern energy and attention thanks to the activities of its contemporary protagonists, a duo called Xie.

Xie comprises the shigin singer, Keisei, the main instrumentalist, Hagi, and woodwind instrumentalist, Soh Tanomura. Hagi and Keisei began their collaboration a few years ago when Hagi heard Keisei perform.

Hagi specializes in synthesizer music, and his style is characterized by rich, soaring compositions with an inspiringly heavily influ

xie performs at live house Graffiti in Akasaka, Tokyo, 7 April 2017.
xie and the audience at Graffiti in Akasaka, April 7, 2017

enced by the sounds of nature. There are undertones of melancholy and nostalgia uplifted by great aspiring melodies, which, in concert, take the listener on a journey through vast spaces, over great distances.

Hagi’s instrumentalization finds the perfect marriage in Keisei’s voice, which in its shigin recitation is powerful, true and flies on the wings of tradition by way of its extended vocal techniques.

Keisei is as skilled a performer as singer, and her traditionally inspired costumes and dancing form an essential, and entrancing, part of her act.

The shakuhachi player, Soh Tanomura, has been a part of Xie for the past four years, and brings the earthy and airy sounds of that old Japanese wind instrument to further color the magic sound.

I regularly attend Xie performances that take place in venues throughout Tokyo on occasion. I was in Akasaka on Friday night, at a live house called Grafitti, to see and hear Xie perform, followed by a duo called NeoBallad, which also gives a contemporary spin to Japan’s musical traditions.

Vocalist Keisei, of xie, on stage at Graffiti live house in Akasaka, Tokyo.
Vocalist-cum-performer Keisei on stage of Graffiti, Akasaka, Tokyo

Besides the appearances of the musicians themselves, where song and dance is interspersed with plenty of spoken repartee between performers and audience, one aspect of Xie concerts that I also like is how the audiences are wonderfully diverse in terms of age, attire, and atmosphere. Xie clearly has broad appeal and does not preach just to the converted.

Xie performs sporadically, and its schedule can be found on the Xie website and Xie Facebook page. If you’re in Tokyo next time they’re performing, Xie (and I – the bald white guy with glasses) would love to see you there!

© JapanVisitor.com

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