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High-voltage rockers, Hikashu, hit the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage in their Canadian premiere!

Hikashu combines rock, power pop and jazz, taking listeners on wildly sophisticated musical journeys. Improvising and experimenting with relentless punk-rock energy, this quintet covers musical territory from progressive rock to techno pop. Led by super-vocalist, Koichi Makigami the band’s innovative approach to improvisation and instrumentation has had a profound impact internationally and earned them followers around the globe.

Hikashu was one of the key bands to emerge from Japan’s New Wave of the late 1970s. Hikashu has followed a path from techno (before the Yellow Magic Orchestra) to noise/sampler improvisation (before Ground Zero) to jazz, folk and beyond. Hikashu has been anticipating trends and charting new paths for more than thirty years.

Today, Hikashu’s line-up consists of Makigami (vocals, theremin, cornet, shakuhachi), Freeman Mita (guitar, sampler), Masami Sakaide (bass, electronics), Kazuto Shimizu (piano, synthesizer, bass-clarinet) and Massa Sato (drums, vocals). Their fifteenth and most recent album, Uragoe, was released in April 2012. According to Eyal Hareuveni in all about jazz: “Uragoe is a wild ride . . . the joy is guaranteed.”

This concert is produced by A B Series in partnership with the National Arts Centre and Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville.


With an introductory set by Nobuo Kubota!

NOBUO KUBOTA, winner of a 2009 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, is a multi-media artist whose work includes sculpture, installations, video, music, and sound poetry. An original member of the Artists' Jazz Band and of the dynamic improvising orchestra, CCMC, he continues to blaze new trails in the domain of improvisational vocal music. He extends his vocal pyrotechnics to visual sound poetry, exploring the strategy of "intermedia." His recent work, "new calligraphy," involves transcription of sound scores. He lives and works in Toronto.

Nobuo Kubota