Past Events

Yutaka Oyama Concert

Jan 7th, 2017 17:00


Renowned Tsugaru shamisen instrumentalist Yutaka Oyama will perform live at Towada Art Center!

Oyama plays the shamisen to traditional and modern compositions to illustrate its versatility and relevance in a contemporary context. His take on the shamisen is not limited to any one genre, and through it, he is able to generate entirely new sounds. We invite you to come listen to Oyama and Junichi Saito, who will accompany him on guitar.

Doors open at 16:15.



Yutaka Oyama Concert


Jan 7th, 2017 17:00


Towada Art Center Cube


1,500 yen(Includes one drink)


Yutaka Oyama (Third­-generation Tsugaru­-jamisen player of the Oyama School)
Junichi Saito (Guitar)

About the Artists

Yutaka Oyama
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.

Find out more about Yutaka Oyama

Junichi Saito
Born in Chiba Prefecture in 1983. After winning the special prize at the Gibson Jazz Guitar Contest at age 23, Saito began his career as a solo guitarist. He released his first record, A Thousand Leaves, from Wangan Music Records in March 2011. While the album is firmly rooted in jazz guitar, he received high praise for his catchy pop melodies and his exceptional talent and sense as a melody maker who is not afraid to stray from jazz alone. (Guitar Magazine, July 2011 Issue) He has since release four cafe albums, the first of which was titled Ghibli Cafe, in which he covered many Ghibli Studio favorites.

He has performed with many of today’s top artists across sounds and genres and has collaborated with BEAMS on guitar and other arrangements. Saito formed Japanese post-rock unit BAND ALIAKE in 2015 after his performance in eclipse at the Sound Theatre, a new sensational take on musical and reading performances, which began performing at JZ Brat Sound of Tokyo in February 2016. BAND ALIAKE released their first album, Rapid Promotion, in November 2016. Saito’s musical activities are wide ranging, from a supporting musician, recording artist, musical composer, and guitarist and arranger on NHK World Blends.

Find out more about Junichi Saito