They're revered as musical royalty.
They play to sold-out crowds.
They're treated like celebrities.
Their "axes" are old school.
Their music is new school.
They are what's new in music.
While the British Invasion was all about the 60's and the Latin Invasion was all about the 90's, the new Japanese Invasion is all about 2 talented young men and Japan's new music craze in 2004. Enter the Yoshida Brothers.
What's new in music? These guys are BRAND new. No doubt about it. At twenty-something years old, the Yoshida Brothers (Domo Records) bring their centuries old traditional based sound to the world, packaged in a uniquely 21st century manner. With a nod to the past and their eyes squarely focused on the future, these Yoshida dudes are something different.
Sure they enjoy cars and girls. They're in their twenties. But in the hands of these wizards, the brothers' "axe" of choice Tsugaru-shamisen (pronounced Tsoogaroo shameesen) makes musical magic. Ryoichiro and Kenichi drive exotic sports cars and buy stuff at Dolce & Gabbana. Since they debuted this old school meets New York hip music in 1999 (a debut sold 100,000 plus copies in Japan), in 2004, the Yoshida Bros. are back at it in America. They'll tour the country from coast to coast.
Pioneering new improvisational techniques on the instrument, the Yoshidas have elevated the three string Tsugaru-shamisen to Stratocaster status in Japan. Next up, the USA.
While the new album has roots that date back to the 16th century origins of the instrument, the melodies and rhythms lend themselves to quite quickly to western ears.
And don't let the traditional garb they wear fool you. While the Yoshida's bow to and acknowledge the deep history of the instrument, their passion and mission statement is to take these centuries-old based jamz to the masses. And they're doing it.
With an influence so great, that as a result of their popularity, Japanese kids now must study ancient instruments in music classes, the Yoshida Brothers have returned to charm American audiences. Via Grammy in the Schools participation, a 90 minute NHK Network Documentary and numerous network and cable television appearances, their path is clear. The New Japanese Invasion Begins... Yoshida Brothers' style.