August 07, 2006

Jeff's Connection

Last night, all three of the bands I have performed with over the past three years held a farewell concert at Wakayama City's famous live venue, Old Time. It was a fun and emotional evening, full of familiar faces, good music, and a few tears at the end. When I first moved to Wakayama City, I had a chance to see Mr. Kawabata (we call him Aniki), sing and play guitar with One (pronounced OH-NE) at Take Five, the jazz club across the street from my apartment. At that show, Mr. Kawabata sang a rendition of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," a performance which moved me to tears. It had been a long time since I shed tears of joy like that. I think the last time was when I saw Brian Blade's Fellowship in San Francisco with my brother John and close friend Nick Thom. The evening started off with The Redemptions, Wakayama's premier roots reggae band, led by Norihiro Kakiuchi, an original guitarist/vocalist, a funny and great man. Also on the lineup was Hot Sauce, a soul/funk/R&B cover band formed by Yoji Takada, also a wonderful man who is passionate about New Orleans music and culture. The last band, Shigeru One's Wave, is the first band with whom I used to sit in back when I lived in Kibi. Mr. Kawabata ended the night with another moving peformance of the aforementioned track. I think it was the first time I cried while playing drums. I didn't know I would or could do that. Thank you, Mr. Kawabata. You are a truly gifted and special man. I am grateful to have met you and played music with you. Thank you everyone for taking me in and giving me the chance to play music, the chance to learn from you all in my time here.

Some pictures of the event, taken by a former student of mine at Koyo, Yuji Murakami (and also a very adept heavy metal/hard core drummer). In descending order: The Redemptions, Sweaty Jeff, Hot Sauce, One san and Wave, Mr. Kawabata, and Jeff's Connection.
















Thank you One san, Takada san, Nori san, Shimamoto san, Kawaguchi san, Shoko san, Kayo san, Naomi san, Chabo san, Yoga san, Yuusaku san, You Key Man, Shima san, Uemae san, Kawabata san, and all the friends who came out to listen last night. I will never forget you...ありがとうね!

I downloaded a video of Kawabata's performance from last night onto MySpace, so you can have a listen/look at my page (just click on "Videos"): www.myspace.com/iwaketosleep

2 Comments:

Anonymous ES355 said...

We will never forget you,JEFF.
Someday,we will play the music togather again.
Thank you,JEFF.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous aniki said...

I was also happy on Sunday, JEFF.
Playing Music is interesting because there are these kind of thing.
Let's make music together again.
I'll be waiting.

11:27 AM  

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