Musicians from the Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra perform at the PNCA on Sunday as part of Islamabad Art Festival. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
Musicians from the Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra perform at the PNCA on Sunday as part of Islamabad Art Festival. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

ISLAMABAD: Amid celebrations of the month-long Japanese cultural and Islamabad Art Festival, jazz artists presented an amalgamation and a fusion of various genres of Japanese music on Sunday night.

Saxophone player Naomi Tabata, percussionist Ayumu Takanabe and Emi Kitagawa on the piano performed various genres of Japanese music ranging from classic, jazz, j-pop, European sounding Japanese folk and Pakistani music. This is the second time the trio have been flown in from Japan.

Naomi Tabata is a saxophone player of Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra and a lecturer at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Tokushima Bunri University.

Ayumu Takanabe, also from the same Orchestra, makes more than 100 guest appearances on different studio recordings and adjudicator of nationwide contests.

Also a music instructor, Emi Kitagawa has performed piano concerts with many orchestras, including the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra and Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra.

So when the consistently fluid and adventurous trio took to the stage, little by little with the assistance of the percussionist and the pianist, Naomi Tabata woke up and conquered the PNCA auditorium.

The saxophonist masterfully controlled the concert. Beautiful musical visions and sceneries opened during the performance. In the parts of the orchestra, the performers drew attention to the smart details that were carried out with the piano and above all with percussion instruments.

The artists played compositions of European and Japanese music composers.

PNCA Director General Jamal Shah described their music as breathtaking and appreciated the Japanese embassy for enriching the Islamabad Art Festival.

Ambassador of Japan Kuninori Matsuda was delighted to see the auditorium full.

“It shows that Japanese culture is a popular phenomenon among the people of Pakistan. By offering beauty, strong traditions, colourful culture and dynamic art in its own form to the rest of the world, we want you to understand that Japanese culture and traditions reflect the vitality and strength of the Japanese people,” said the ambassador.

Deputy Consul General at Consulate General Karachi Katsumori Ashida became as much favourite as the trio when he collaborated with Pakistani musicians to sing ‘Main tenu samjhawan ki’ and ‘Lal meri’.

The organisers bumped up the level of excitement and intrigue by throwing in the Kendo demonstration.

The traditional form of martial arts was a lesson in ancient swordsmanship of the Samurai. Developed as a strong and beautiful discipline, Masanori Yasue presented defence and attack techniques to bring down enemies opponents from all sides.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2019