Oyama began learning the Tsugaru shamisen from a very early age, apprenticing under his grandfather, Mitsuou Oyama, founder and the first master of the Oyama School. As the third head of one of the largest schools in Japan, Yutaka Oyama performs regularly, both at home and abroad. In 2001 and 2002, Oyama won the Outstanding Player Award at the Tsugaru shamisen competition held by the Japan Folk Association. In 2011, Oyama’s Carnegie Hall concert, with his new Tsugaru shamisen band Oyama x Nitta, was lauded by the New York Times. In 2013, Oyama was invited to the Cervantino International Festival in Mexico, the largest performing arts festival in Latin America, where his collaborative work with the accompanying musicians was hailed a great success. He released his first solo album, OYAMAYUTAKA1, in December of the same year.
To highlight the attractiveness of the Tsugaru shamisen, Oyama flexibly mingles across genres to create new sounds while continuing to pass down traditional songs. In 2014, he lead his Japanese folk trio on a successful tour to Latin America. In addition to Japanese classics, Yutaka also plays live for popular idol group Momoiro Clover Z.
He was also a collaborator on Tatsuya Ishii’s 30th Anniversary single, ~jump~, and on boy band Arashi’s 14th studio album, Japonism, in 2015.
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