Archive for Yukiko Matsuyama

Osaka born koto musician Yukiko Matsuyama was featured during global superstar Shakira’s performance at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday, November 10, 2011.

It was a special night for Matsuyama, an international koto artist, who was honored to have the opportunity to perform with Shakira and to introduce and share the national instrument of Japan with a new worldwide audience. According to the Nielsen Company over eleven million viewers tuned in to all or part of the live three-hour broadcast on the Univision Network.

For the event, Matsuyama performed with Shakira on Antes De Las Seis, her latest single from the album, Sale El Sol, for which Shakira won the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Album.

Shakira has won two Grammy Awards and eight Latin Grammy Awards. She is the second most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan, having sold over 60 million albums worldwide according to Sony Music Entertainment.

Antes De Las Seis, written by Shakira and Luis Fernando Ochoa, begins with a melody on the koto. Shakira has told many interviewers that she has grown fond of listening to oriental music, which influenced many of her earlier works.

For the performance, Matsuyama wore a gorgeous pale blue kimono designed by Sueko Oshimoto.

Matsuyama, who now calls Southern California home, recently returned from Tokyo & Osaka where she performed several concerts to celebrate the Japanese release of her fifth CD, Beyond the Space. The U.S. release date is scheduled for January 2012.

Although the show with Shakira marked the first time Matsuyama has performed with a Latin Pop Star, she’s no stranger to unique, non-traditional settings for her instrument. Matsuyama’s compositions span the realm of genres from pop to smooth jazz with elements of world beat and funk. Last year she recorded with the Paul Winter Consort on their Grammy Winning New Age album, Miho: Journey to the Mountain. She’s also recorded with jazz pianist Billy Mitchell, John York (Byrds) and is currently working on an R&B project.

Upcoming performances include an Alaskan tour with her international pop band, and shows in New Mexico, Atlanta, and New York. In between, Matsuyama stays busy with sessions and film work.

Click to see video… Latin Grammy Awards Performance and here for Photos with the Band.

I’m very excited to have been asked to play koto with Shakira at the Latin Grammy Awards this coming Thursday! It’s such an honor to play with this amazing artist and humanitarian. It’s also a great opportunity to share the koto with her fans from around the world. I’ll be joining her on Antes de las Seis, the new single from Shakira’s Sale El Sol album.

UPDATE:  It was an amazing experience!!! Here’s the video… Latin Grammy Awards Performance



Tokyo CD Release Concert 松山夕貴子

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Hirotaka Ogawa 織川ヒロタカ and I have collaborated on a new CD, Beyond the Space.

CD release concerts with our band in Osaka on October 12th and Tokyo on October 25th. The CD will be released in the USA August 10th, 2012.

Yukiko Matsuyama & Hirotaka Ogawa CD Release Concert

CD Release Concert - October 25, 2011 - Tokyo - Beyond the Space


Click for information about Tokyo show:

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Yukiko will join the Paul Winter Consort for the 16th Annual Summer Solstice Concert at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Saturday, June 18, 2011.

Yukiko Matsuyama joins the Paul Winter Consort for Sunrise Solstice Concert

There’s Magic in the Early Morning Time

When I’m awake in the darkness before dawn — as the birds begin to sing and the Earth prepares for the Sun — it feels like the world is beginning again. There’s something precious about that virginal early morning time, when we’re free of our habitual patterns and obligations. It was my dream of evoking this ambience in music that was the original inspiration for Summer Solstice.

At 4:30 a.m., in total darkness, we embark on a continuous two-hour musical journey, with players stationed in distant corners or moving among the audience. At some point we hear the first birds of the morning chorus, who always seems to blend with the music. Before long we sense that the Cathedral’s great stained-glass windows are slowly beginning to illuminate with the first light of the sun. The growing light sparks the music, and rhythmic energy begins to emerge.

This is the perfect space, and event, for the music from our new album Miho: Journey to the Mountain. The unfolding journey in the album, from contemplative to celebrative is an analog to this gradual evolution from the darkness to the dawn.    – Paul Winter

More info and tickets at:


What is a Koto?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Considered the national musical instrument of Japan, a standard koto is comprised of 13 movable bridges with 13 strings. Made from the finest kiri wood, it is played by using three different fingers, namely the middle finger, the index finger and the thumb. It is often adorned with various types of materials like metal figures, tortoise shell as well as inlays of ebony and ivory.

Japanese Koto played by Yukiko Matsuyama

Yukiko Matsuyama with Koto (photo by Dan Redd)

A standard Japanese koto is usually inches wide and 72 inches long. There is also the Chinese koto or yo-kin, which is a small music instrument Read More→

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