Andrew York - GRAMMY-winning Composer and Guitarist

First thing in Tokyo I had three magazine interviews back to back - one for Gendai Guitar, one for Young Guitar, mainly a rock and roll magazine (notice Joe Satriani on cover), and the last for Acoustic Guitar, specializing in steel string guitar.

Acoustic guitar wanted to take photos of my fine David Daily guitar for the magazine too, front and back.

After my Tokyo concert in Asahi Hall, I signed CDs for quite a long time, the line went out of the lobby and down the hall. I'm very happy to sign as many autographs as desired in Japan, the people are so genuine and enthusiastic about my music.

On the left is the flyer for my Tokyo concert put on by Tokyo Onkyo. They worked with King Records, and the flyer to the right is for my double CD "Sunburst - The Best of Andrew York" that was released in Japan just before my concerts there.

Dinner after the show, with Satoru Yamamoto (front right) and Yumi Miura (left, behind me) from Tokyo Onkyo. Thanks to both Yumi-san and Yama-san for taking care of me and making everything work so perfectly. Front left are my old friends Mitsuko Kado and Takao Kasahara, more about them below.

On the way back to the hotel in the taxi, I got fascinated watching the Japanese GPS, as we blurred through Ginza . . .

Always best is to see my old friends Takao Kasahara and Mitsuko Kado everytime I am in Japan. Takao is my former manager, and Mitsuko is a beautiful classical pianist. We have worked together for years on numerous projects. Takao knows many artisan chefs personally, and he has taught me much about slow food, and slow life. Each time Takao, Mitsuko and I get together there is incredible fun, food, wine, music and laughter. Cheers my dears!

I have known Akemi Ohno and the fine people that she works with for almost 25 years. She is a wonderful lady and runs the Ohno Guitar School in Osaka. She invited me up for a concert in Osaka, so I took the Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. First thing she did upon picking me up was to take me up into the mountains to a stellar restaurant on a river, and as we had a superb dinner we watched the sun set over the water and behind the mountains.

That's Akemi Ohno at the end of the table, and Miki to the left, who drove us all around. He also took some fabulous photos I'm using in some of these posts. Atsuko is next to him, she is the excellent cook for the Ohno Guitar School. Atsuko and Miki gave me a gift of Umeboshi, the dried Japanese plums that I am crazy for. Sitting next to me is Chima, who was cast in the role of translator. The person who usually does the translation was sick, so Chima did her first job translating into English, though she was worried about it. But she did great, and we had the best time together. I really enjoyed her sense of humor, and making her laugh.

I really enjoyed meeting and hearing jazz pianist Walter Clark in Japan. He is from the San Francisco area but has lived in Japan for many years now. He was playing at the restaurant, ripping through jazz standards on the piano, and singing at the same time while his left hand played absolutely perfect upright bass on a synth keyboard ...

Sashimi with a smile in Osaka . . . and a perfect cup of coffee presented with an elegance and charm only found in Japan . . .

Back to Tokyo before flying home, with a view from my balcony at the Grand Prince hotel in Takanawa. Goodbye Tokyo, until next time . . .


Italy 2015

Landed in Rome in mid-September, a good time to visit this magnificent city.

Andrea Vettoretti and his wife Alice run the Festival Internazionale delle Due Cittą. Andrea is a good friend, and I wrote the piece "Yamour" for him. This is the second time he has brought me to his festival.

Life is sometimes hard there. We were forced to smoke good Italian cigars in the evening, and sometimes even to drink calvados.

Andrea and I shared the concert in Rome, each playing solo for half of the concert. At the end we came out together and played my duet Sanzen-in.

And after the show we went to the ancient part of the city, walking by the Pantheon on our way to get late-night gelato. The depth of history in this city is overwhelming.

Augustin Wiedemann and Kosho played a killer concert in San Doną, the second city in Due Cittą. With Augustin, the red flowers over my head make me look a bit devilish, and Kosho on the right seems to be enjoying his pasta and wine very much.

Treviso is a very beautiful city, perhaps less known because of the historical shadow cast by nearby Venice. But Treviso is one of my favorite cities in Europe. A candid art shot of Augustin, Alice and Andrea, taken by Andy. Only names that start with the letter A are allowed in this post.

Cooking for the Italians - I love to cook but was quite nervous to cook for my friends here, where the food is simply the best in Europe. I also learned that cumino is NOT cumin, but caraway seeds . . . smell the spice before you use it. Consequently I made a big batch of caraway chili . . . oh well.

Concert in San Doną, neighbor city of Treviso, at a brand new concert hall. Only the second guitar concert there, the first was Andrea filming his video 'Rain' based on the piece Yamour that I wrote for him.

Rosy and Alessandro, Andrea's parents, had me over to their house every day for lunch! And Rosy is the quintessential Italian Mama, her cooking is simply beautiful. Their hospitality was as wonderful as the food. And one evening Luca brought out his new instrument, called a Hang. It has a magical sound, and we jammed for a while - guitar and hang is a great combination.

A day in Venice - guided by Marisol and Laura. Venice is one of the most unique cities on earth, and always a pleasure to wander the streets and canals.

In the evening the light reflects on the buildings from the water, a poetic effect of illumination that is unmatched anywhere else.

Laura took us to see a man she works with who restores historical paintings from Venice. Fascinating, and something the hordes of tourists don't get to see. It made me want to try painting again . . .


Friedberg 2015

Martin Wentzel brought me back to Friedberg for the Friedberger Gitarrentage for the second time. We took our traditional backstage mirror shot before the concert. The concert took place in an old swimming pool building from the 1920's that has been converted into a concert space - very hip and unusual. After the show we went to an Italian restaurant that had the biggest pepper grinder in the world. Vincent Rocher, a teacher at the Musikschule in Friedberg, is getting his monthly allotment of pepper.

With Duo Stefan Hladek and Olaf Van Gonnissen, who played an excellent early music concert on the festival, and Ulf Borcherding to my left, an old friend who used to bring LAGQ to Wetzlar Germany, back in the day.