Ura Matsuri Artists
Ura Matsuri vol.5 (2022) artists lineup
This year we are going to have music, dance, street performance, film, installations and even Geisha Bar(!) with more than 40 artists with Japanese/East Asian heritage.
Frank Chickens, a legendary Japanese punk pop performance group with a cult following in the UK, were founded in London in 1982 as a duo with Kazuko Hohki and Kazumi Taguchi, but the group has now expanded to more than 20 members. They were John Peel‘s favourite, had an independent chart hit with “We Are Ninja”, had a Channel 4 TV series: “Kazuko’s Karaoke Klub”, won the Foster Comedy God Award, released five albums and toured worldwide. “Their live performances delight audience with idiosyncratic choreography, quirky humour and explosive energy – a feast of wit and visual extravagance.” Recently they have become the power behind Ura Matsuri – the festival showcasing ESA (East And South East Asian) artists in the UK.
Photo: David Green
BeiBei Wang is a uniquely vibrant percussion talent. With a background in both Classical and traditional Chinese percussion, she brings characteristic flair and dynamism to her performances, presenting repertoire as diverse as contemporary classical to free improvisation with equal elegance.Beibei has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic and New Japan Philharmonic. She has appeared as soloist on some of the world‘s most prestigious stages including the Barbican Centre, Elbphiharmonie and Southbank Centre.
photo: Sean Kelly
Hibiki Ichikawa Shamisen Ensemble
Hibiki is a London based Tsugaru Shamisen player with over 20 years of experience in playing this unique and fascinating instrument. Hibiki regularly performs across the UK and Europe and his professional activities include teaching more than 25 students and collaborating with several musicians and artists in a variety of projects. In 2021, he was chosen as the official brand ambassador for NIKE DUNK shoes. He will perform with his advanced students at Ura Matsuri.
Atsuko Kamura, aka Kamura Obscura, is a Japanese agit-femme vocalist and electronic experimentalist. She is a founder member of Mizutama Shobodan (Polka Dot Fire Brigade), the first Japanese feminist punk band. She weaves her voice and singing into a surreal and bizarre sonic world.
A Record Of LIving Being
With a collective mark-making that encircles Rai Wong’s cassette tape-loops manipulations, this is a semi-improvised extension of his freewheeling Soho Radio show “A Record of Living Beings”. Collaborating with previous guests on the show and a wider independent network, which includes Yoshino Shigihara (Yama Warashi) on taishōgoto, drums and percussions, and Suren Seneviratne (My Panda Shall Fly) on obsolete music software and hardware, it is a filmic and playful meeting place between origins and categorisations filtered through a somewhat inevitable eastern sensibility.
Tomoko Komura and Clive Bell
Tomoko Komura is a London-based performer, actor and instrumentalist from Japan. In 2010, Tomoko became the UK's first Japanese benshi (solo silent film live story teller) for Kenji Mizoguchi's "The Water Magician (1933)" shown at the Barbican Cinema in English.
Clive Bell is a musician, composer and writer with a specialist interest in the shakuhachi, khene and other Far
Eastern wind instruments. Clive has a substantial recording history as both a solo artist (his solo album, Shakuhachi: The Japanese Flute was reissued
in 2005 by ARC Records) and as a composer for film, TV and theatrical productions. Based in London, he
writes regularly for the music monthly The Wire.
Photo: Sean Kelly
Akari Mochizuki with Mochi Band
Akari, the only professional Enka singer in the UK, presents Japanese Enka & Kayokyoku with her amazing 'Mochi Band'. The members are Josh on electric guitar, Luke on drums and Conor on bass. Japanese hit songs from the 60's-90's are played with 'Mochi Band' style:)
Mai Nguyen Tri & Fear of Fluffing
Mai Nguyen Tri is a French-Vietnamese dance artist who has been based in East London for the last 35 years ago, where she brings together her multiple identities and contradictory facets of her art between the rebellious and the poetical aspect of her Zen/punk Butoh dance. Drawing on her literary background, eclectic dance training and passion for storytelling, Mai's tragi-comic Butoh theatre mirrors the spiralling journey between life, death and rebirth. Specialising in site specific, guerilla style performances, Mai also likes to bring her explosive energy to street festivals, clubs, art galleries and theatres. Her dance practice is based on structured improvisation, performing solo her choreographed Butoh dance pieces, or dancing in collaboration with improvising musicians, poets and visual artists.
Photo: Sean Kelly
Zashiki Warashi is a London based Taiko (Japanese drums) and Flute Duo, named after a mythical being, from the ancient Japanese folklore, that likes to cause mischief in a household while it brings a good fortune and wealth to the family.
Akinori Fujimoto and Mikey Kirkpatrick began the Zashiki Warashi Drum and Flute Duo in 2004 whilst studying at Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a way to connect their interest in acoustic and electronic music from around the world with their spiritual and philosophical discussions in a playful way. Zashiki Warashi creates a world that bridges our imagination, the magical world, and the real world.
Just like 'Zashikiwarashi' likes to cause mischief, elements of playfulness is a part of their compositions.
Yuko is a London-based singer and musician who plays Sanshin (a traditional Ryukyu instrument with three strings). Yuko has cultivated a song repertoire and style that really goes places - from Minyo; Japanese folk, to Jazz and rock. Making a life in east London for the last 20 years has fed and expanded her musicality and today Yuko’s sanshin and voice-work still connect strongly to the transcendence she draws from Ryukyu (Okinawan) / Japanese culture.
Since 2016 Ura Matsuri artists include:
Bei Bei Wang
Akari Mochizuki and the Mochi band
A Record of Living Beings
Hibiki Ichikawa Shamisen Ensemble
Mai and Fear of Fluffing
Yuko Tsubame & Stephane
O Yama O
Mademoiselle Lychee aka. Aya Nakamura