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Japanese Summer Festival

Ryoko Itabashi
Saturday 18th August saw the 8th annual Japanese Summer Festival here in Ottawa, organised by the local JETAA group. Somehow I didn't spot this last year, but the 2012 edition included all sorts of entertainment including musical offerings from Ryoko Itabashi on the shamisen, followed by Jordan Lincez duo featuring Jordan Patrick and an excellent Japanese accordion player whom I believe is Piromi (Hiromi Iwase).

The shamisen performance was really interesting, both in terms of the music and the way in which the instrument is played. The technique seemed to be a mix between violin-family instruments and a guitar. Itabashi demonstrated the different styles of music from around Japan. Following on from this, Jordan Lincez provided a contrast with more contemporary Japanese (and Western) songs, especially solos from Piromi.

Also on stage were demonstrations of taiko; kendo, iaido and jodo; as well as Japanese drumming and dance.  

Providing a complete contrast, later on we went to see.... roller derby! Great fun!


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