Cody Geil Quartet @ Bowery Hotel


The gig in the East Village with Cody, Hara and Rohin. This gig unexpectedly became the toughest gig in years for me. I will not go details on what had happened but I was so exhausted after the gig. Things happen. That was just one of those days.
(Cody, Rohin, I'm sorry but I guess I was too worn out and forgot to take the photos of you guys)


Rohin's family


Sarina, Hara and I hanged at a restaurant with Rohin's family whom we were going to meet for the first time. Each of us hold Ameria. Oh God, she was too adorable!!


Cody Geil Quartet in Lenox Hill, New York


I had a party gig with Cody and Hara in the area called Lenox Hill in Manhattan. It was a full house and the playing space was so limited. I really should have brought an electric bass instead of the huge upright bass.

Cody Geil Quartet


Sarina Suno Quartet @ Thailand Cafe

Sarina Suno (Violin)
Hara Garacci (Guitar)
Ippei Ichimaru (Bass)
Rohin Khemani (Drums)

This is the day after the short tour to Boston had ended. I played with Sarina, Hara and Rohin at the Thai restaurant where we always play. It was a fun and challenging gig and also everyone in the band is a great and technically sophisticated musician. I was in tip-top condition. Marvelous.


Berklee College of Music Award Ceremony @ Prudential Skywalk



The International String Trio played for the award ceremony for my alma mater, Berklee College of Music. The ceremony was held at the Skywalk in the second tallest building in Boston, Prudential Tower. The view was really nice from 50 stories up from the ground. This ceremony was for the instructors and other workers for the years of service. Actually I met one of my old classmates at Berklee and she was awarded for 10 years of service. T-t-ten years!? We both graduated from Berklee 11 years ago, that means, she was already teaching at Berklee in the year after our graduation. WHAAAAAAT!? Well, she was a hard worker when she was still a student. No wonder she was already qualified to teach a class at Berklee only one year after her graduation. In my case, the year after the graduation was hell. I was so fed up with music business and business music, then I seriously thought of quitting music. That was when I picked Brazillian Jiu-jitsu. Oh I don't want to remember!

Luckily Jiu-jitsu somehow saved a little musician in me and I am still in this business. My next goal is to make normal-level living by just playing what I like.

International String Trio
Ben Powell (Violin)
Slava Tolstoy (Guitar)
Ippei Ichimaru (Bass)

Somebody said that this photo was to normal so do something funny.


I am biting my bass! I hope this is funny enough for y'all. No wonder I couldn't get a teaching gig at Berklee.


Trident Booksellers & Cafe



This is Trident, book store/Cafe. This combination is not unusual any more, but in those days in 1995 when I just came to America, I hardly ever saw cafes in Boston, much less to say nothing of a bookstore/cafe. For the bookworm like myself, this combination of a bookstore and a cafe was so stylish and hip. Well, I was flat broke when I was a college student and did not even have a money to get a cup of coffee so I actually had come here only a few times in the college years. It is 14 years later and I still long to visit this cafe.

I and my buddy, Kenji, had a late dinner in here and talked about the time when we were completely absorbed in music.

Boston Public Library


I was in boston but I did not have a gig on this particular day. At my apartment, I can do nothing and being a couch potato for tens of hours but I feel guilty by doing nothing at my friend's place, so I went to the Boston Public Library and spent most of the day in there.

Living in a foreign country, I sometimes find out weird Japanese stuff. The blue book on the middle says "Goro Noguchi Photo Collection." He was a big idle figure in Japan in 30 years ago. This book was the weirdest thing I see on the other side of the globe. I burst out laughing at a quiet library. I couldn't help myself.


Groton School Concert @ Ryle's


At night of the church gig, I went to see the student concert of the school where Kenji is teaching. Mari, whom I did a recording with last year, was also on the concert and was playing a beautiful solo.

Kenji plays lots of different kinds of woodwinds. Although I have known him since the stone age, that was very first time I saw him playing a brass like trumpet.

Kenji Kikuchi Quartet @ The United Parish of Upton

Kenji Kikuchi (Flute, Tenor Sax, Clarinet)
Ben Cook (Piano)
Ippei Ichimaru (Bass)
Miki Matsuki (Drums)



I walked a bit of a tightrope for this gig. I had a gig with Cody in New York on the night before and, as soon as the gig is over, I jumped out to the street and ran to the bus stop to catch the last bus bound for Boston. I almost missed it but I caught it. The bus arrived in Boston after 3am, then I walked through the Newbury Street, which is the most happening street in Boston if it was a daytime. One hour later, I finally reached Kenji's hang. Hey Kenji, sorry for waking you up in such a strange time.

The gig was so much fun playing the quartet with Kenji, Miki and Ben. I always feel great after playing with good musicians.

We all ate lots of pancakes at the church after the gig. I was so happy. All the work to come to Boston from New York was all paid off. Ha-ha.


Cody Geil Quartet in TriBeCa, New York

Cody Geil (Vocal, Violin)
Hara Garacci (Guitar)
Ippei Ichimaru (Bass)
Marko Djordjevic (Drums)

I had a party gig with Cody at a penthouse in TriBeCa which is the area South of the Chinatown. The place was breathtakingly gorgeous two-story penthouse.


Sarina Suno Quartet @ Thailand Cafe

Sarina Suno (Violin)
Hara Garacci (Guitar)
Ippei Ichimaru (Bass)
Marko Djordjevic (Drums)





The super big accident happened to Sarina. On the way out after she played at a club, she lost her footing on the stairs and fell 10 steps. She fell from her chin and it took five stitches at an ER to close up her wound. She said, when she fell, she instinctively protected her hands and her violin on her back. That was why she fell from her chin and her hands were saved. Oh well, chin and temple are the vital spots for human beings and also the first target for striking martial artists like boxers. If you strike a clean hit on those spots, you can KO the opponent quite easily, in other words, those spots are the easiest parts to damage brains.

Hey Sarina, we all know that you are not only a beautiful lady but also the die-hard professional musician, and believe me, I do understand as a fellow musician why you protected your hand, literally, for life, but I have to say as a long-time friend. You absolutely MUST put your hands on the ground and protect your head next time. You were lucky that you did not have a cerebral contusion or something when you dived from 10 steps on staircase and landed on your chin.

It was great for me to know that you were fully recovered from that.

She was playing the first half of the gig but because of her condition, we played as a trio for the second half.

Illustration: ウタノツバサ

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