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L.A. Beat

Nobuki Takamen excited to return to Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival with trio

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Hiroshima born, New York city based guitarist Nobuki Takamen returns to play The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens  for the Lethbridge Jazz and blues Festival, June 10.Nobuki Takamen returns to the Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival this year. photo submitted
“The Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens thought it was a great show and wanted to do it again, so they thought about how to make it different. So this time he brings his trio,” said festival organizer Don Robb Tickets are available through for $35.

“I played Lethbridge back in 2010, and always wanted to go back, but never did until last year,” said Takamen who is excited to  return to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens for this year’s festival, with his trio of  drummer Naoki  Aikawa and bassist Toshiyuki Tanahashi.

“I met Naoki in 2005 shortly after I moved to New York. And I have been playing with both of them for a while, but we formed the trio in  March,” he said, adding they went into the studio to record music together shortly after.

“ I enjoy playing with the trio. I write music including bass lines and percussion. With the trio, I can focus on soloing,” he said, noting he counts the fingerpicking style of Chet Atkins as being one of many influences on his playing.

“We’ll be playing a lot of new music that we‘re releasing  on Nov. 27,” he said, noting two of the songs were inspired by and written during his previous visits to Lethbridge.

“One of them is ‘Freddy’s Mood’ and ‘Blues in Alberta’ I like to play different cities. I’m inspired by the experience,” he said.
He is also inspired by listening to singer/songwriters like Paul Simon and James Taylor, but was  drawn to the improvisation of blues music.
“I got into jazz music through the improvisation of blues music. I like to write songs, but I also like to jam and improvise,” he said.

 He is excited to return home to Hiroshima  during his tour of Japan in August.
“ I like to get back there once a year,” he said.

“I’m excited to get back to Lethbridge too. I played there in 2010 at the Bluenote which was near the garden, but never got to go to the garden. So I’m excited to play the garden again,” he said.
 “It will be a family friendly show. I’m excited to play in a place where I got inspired,” he said.
 Tickets  for the concert are $35 or $50 for a meet and greet. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Due to weather worries, the concert has been moved to the Galt Museum.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 June 2018 23:22 )  
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