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Friday, Nov. 17, 2006


Globe-trotting sitar player tours Japan

Sitar virtuoso Nishat Khan was recently flown out to Tokyo to perform for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This month, one of Japan's own globe-trotting exponents of this Indian instrument, Aki Ueda, will tour Japan, proving that Indian classical music has found an audience beyond the government walls of Kasumigaseki.

News photo
Aki Ueda

Ueda, who has spent several years in India studying under some sitar masters there, will perform with bansuri (North Indian flute) player Taro Terahara and tabla player Vineet Vyas on a six-date nationwide tour of Japan from Nov. 18-25, titled "Pantheon of Melody."

Born in 1972, Ueda grew disenchanted with playing guitar in a rock band in Tokyo and decided to move to India and concentrate on playing the sitar, studying under Pt Amar Nath Mishra in Varanasi for seven years. He has also spent time in Israel and Berlin. Aki's latest album, "Invisible Visions," came out last month and was a multinational affair, featuring two percussionists and three soloists from the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East to create an album of modern "global-fusion" music.

The tour starts Nov. 18 at Shibuya Uplink Factory (Vineet Vyas solo show) before calling in at Yokohama, Kobe, Kyoto and Okayama. The tour ends with two dates in Tokyo on Nov. 25-26 at Tokyo OVE in Minami-Aoyama. Tickets are 2,300-3,500 yen yen. For more info, visit www.akiueda.com

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