Day 4 of 28

Good morning.

Day 4. We are in a hotel in Jackson, Minnesota. We had a matinee concert yesterday and drove right after the show for 5 hours. We caught a little bit of Oscar on the way at a Vietnamese restaurant in Des Moines. Congrats to DiCaprio whom all three of us were rooting for, and I was secretly rooting for Mad Max and am glad that it won lots of awards!

We usually drive to the next concert in the day and perform at night, but since the one on yesterday was matinee and we've done the painful driving already, we have lots of time to relax today. I'm chilling at the poolside and the boys are still sleeping. Life is good. Ha-ha.

We will be playing in Windom, Minnesota tonight. On this tour, we will be playing nine concerts out of 20 in Minnesota, and this is the first of the Minnesota circuit. We love Minnesota!

BTW, Windom is a relatively small town with 4,600 people but this is where Maria Schneider is hailing from! She is a very famous jazz composer and she is a genius. When I was a jazz composition students at a music college, I studied and analyzed her works a lot. I’m so glad she won two Grammys this year!


Day 3 --- The first show in Newton, Iowa!

We played our first show in Newton, Iowa. That was a good kick-off of the Midwest Tour 2016!

Before the first show

We are in Newton, Iowa and about to hit the first note of our Midwest Tour 2016. 800-seater today.

We will rock the house.


Day 2 --- from Pittsburg to Iowa City

Day 2. We are in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are heading to Iowa City! The City of Literature! Yippie! Well, we are only passing by there though. Bummer. Someday we will play at University of Iowa.

Nine-hour drive ahead of us. I'm wearing my brand-new beanie and shades. I cannot hit the street if I'm not dressed right! I'm traveling in style. I'm glad we are on the road again, back to abnormal, and we are in the groove!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Day 1 of 28

Day 1. We safely arrived to Pittsburgh just before midnight. We picked up our new album in Philadelphia on the way, drove 13 hours and finally reached here.

I was sitting in the van and traveling for such a long time, so when I got off, I felt the ground still moving or almost locking for a while. I guess this is one of those occupational hazards. Wait. Isn't it the occupational hazards for sailors or something?? Sometimes I forget what my occupation is.

Good night, everyone. Before I go to bed, I'll lightly destroy my back muscle and biceps.

International String Trio's new album has just been released!

We just picked up our new mini-album in Philadelphia!!

Leaving for a tour!

Howdy-ho Off to the four-week tour with International String Trio. Here we go again. We'll go around Midwest like last year. This is going to be a fun tour with lots of concerts. I am also looking forward to seeing lots of beautiful views!


SPEAK UP HOPE --- the charity event for Taiwan earthquake

I came back to New York City after almost six months of absence! I'll perform voluntarily at the charity event for the recent earthquake in Taiwan.

Then afterward, I'm going to Japanese bookstore and Japanese used bookstore! I'm staying in NYC for only eight hours. Let's see if I can go both places!


I did have time to go to two of my favorite places in New York, BOOK OFF the Japanese used bookstore & GO GO CURRY the Japanese curry shop! I'll go to KINOKUNIYA the Japanese bookstore and lots of other pastry shops on the next visit!


Boston is frozen up

It’s been a long time since I woke with chill. It’s -9F (-23C) with the real feel of -45F (-43C). This is almost funny because it’s too absurd. This is like the North Pole. If I go out now, I’ll turn into an ice sculpture.

Come to think of it, I was on the road in the mid-Winter a few years back and I went on nagging it was too cold and too much snow. Then I came back to Boston and found out that the coldest and the place with the most snow was actually Boston. I sometimes forget Boston is in northern province and snowy country.


Jazz Sunday!

I played for a Sunday service at a church in Upton, Massachusetts on last weekend. They have what-so-called “Jazz Sunday” every year around this time of the year and I have been playing for that for ten years or so.

The Jazz Sunday was fun as always and Kenji’s compositions were tough as always, then we all had a nice lunch afterwords. I told them that I might be moving out to the West coast so that might be the last one for me. On the next day, I’ve got the group email saying if Ippei finds a girl in here, he might be staying so let’s find one for him. Ha-ha. Well, I'd say whatever will be will be.


22 years have passed since I stopped drinking!


Today is my 22nd anniversary of quitting alcohol! I still haven't fallen off the wagon and I'll try to stay on it. I am definitely in the healthiest state of mind in my whole life, and, yep, my physique is getting close to the shape when I was still fighting in martial arts. I feel I'm getting stronger everyday.

I'll keep advancing. I'll keep at it. Ha-ha.


Pat Metheny Songbook

It's been ten days since I posted on the blog last time.

I have locked myself at my apartment and have been working on the stuff that I'll be needing in the near future. That's long and an exhausting process. Then I happened to see something interesting in my bookshelves, that was Pat Metheny Songbook.

I played the tunes on the book with the recordings and, OMG, it was tremendous fun! I can play forever! I re-realized that it is important to do something you love. I think I'll play it everyday from now on.

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