Japanese Popular Music (J-pop), foreign music such as Jazz and western pop music have always been intersecting in various ways even from way back before the 1940s. This connection has always enriched the music of Japan.
The music festival “EAST MEETS WEST”, which started last year, successfully united and celebrated this connection and showcased the music which has since evolved into the modern day.
The house band, which included world-class musicians originating from both the USA and Japan, backed up some of the most influential and up-and-coming artists from both countries. Their unique and extraordinary talents demonstrated the possibility of crossing several music genres, cultures and ages, which together celebrated the joy, pride and love for music.
After the successful East Meets West festival in 2019, the second year of this festival in 2020 will expand their already large pool of talents.
First, Steve Gadd, a colleague of legendary bassist Will Lee, will join the band as a drummer. Steve has been the backbone of many hit songs since the 70s and we are sure to experience his hair-raising talent and world-class skills on the stage of EAST MEETS WEST 2020.
Secondly, we have remarkable singers from various musical backgrounds joining the festival this year including an ambassador of Brazilian pop music, Ivan Lins. He is known for his spontaneous performance style.
Also, Okinawa-based Japanese singer Rimi Natsukawa will be singing. She has released duets in Spanish with Andrea Bocelli.
Our last honourable mentions include: One of the most influential musicians in Japanese pop music history, Haruomi Hosono who has introduced a wide spectrum of languages, cultures and souls of foreign music into Japanese pop music since the late 60s. He embodies all aspects of the theme of the festival “EAST MEETS WEST”.
Legendary guitarist Edgar Winter also will be hitting the stage. He released the USA #1 record, "Frankenstein".
Unexpected legends and artists from all over the world will gather and collaborate on the same stage. In this case, one plus one does not add up to two but three, meaning audiences are sure to witness more than they’ve bargained for. We’re looking forward to experiencing the magic of music and the once in a lifetime jam session at the EAST MEETS WEST festival 2020. Since it is the year of the Tokyo Olympics, let’s welcome international artists and celebrate the freedom, multiculturalism and our great love of music.
By Eisuke Sato