Corona has put the survival of live music venues in jeopardy.
I haven’t received any information about what’s going on in other countries, but at least in Japan, the current situation is quite severe.
As everyone is saying, live music clubs are a big part of the culture. It’s not just a place where you can show the finished projects, but a place where you can experience music that is alive, and not just music for drinking, where something new is happening or about to happen. Such a place is a live music club. And where there is such a place, interesting people from all over the world come together.
For me, it’s like a hometown to go back to, or you could say it’s my place, my nest. I can’t tell you how many live music venues I’ve been a part of gratefully. Not only in Tokyo, but all over Japan, live houses are my workplace. And for the past few years, I’ve also been working with live venues in Europe, especially in Germany. Even if I don’t understand the language well, it’s obvious what I got to do here. Most of the time I can feel relaxed at such venues. The only regret is that in New York, in the ’70s, there were great venues such as Studio We and Studio Rivbea, and in the ’80s and ’90s, there were several good places like Knitting Factory where you could casually drop by and play, and I used to go there at least once or twice a year. However, Knitting Factory has become a completely different place, and I can’t find any place that I can be interested in performing. New York has lost its charm and become a boring city for me. I don’t want Tokyo or Japan to become such a boring place.
Of all the live music venues, Pit Inn has always been the one that I’ve been most grateful to. I’ve been allowed to present my exciting projects including SEIKATSU KOJYO IINKAI Orchestra, D.U.B., Shakushain, Betsuni Nanmo Klezmer, KIKI BAND, Komatcha Klezmer, etc. here. This year marks the 21st year of the Petit Ohshigoto. These five days are possible because this is my nest. We will have to have a limited audience, but we’ll do our best for you this year as well!
– Kazutoki Umezu
March 3 (Wed), 4 (Thurs), 5 (Fri), 6 (Sat), 7 (Sun)
*Advance ticket: 3,500 yen + tax (one drink included)
Ticket on the day: 3.800 yen + tax (one drink included)
*We will start accepting reservations at the reception counter of Shinjuku Pit Inn, or by phone (03-3354-2024), or via the ticket reservation form of each performance from AM11:00 on February 1, Monday. (Customers who made reservations will be given reference numbers for priority entrance.)
March 3 (Wed)
Plays Maki Asakawa
Kazutoki Umezu (sax, cl), Yuki Saga (vo, g), Makato Yoshimori (p)
■The songs about living with the times, with the impulse that arises. The world of Maki Asakawa appears in the intense atmosphere of the Pit Inn in the year 2021.
March 4 (Thurs)
Kazutoki Umezu (sax, cl), Yoko Tada (sax), Ayumi Matsui (vln), Chan Koyo (acc), Takero Sekijima (tuba), Fumihisa Natsuaki (ds)
■This is the first live performance in a long time by Komatcha Klezmer, a group that has been active in unique online performances such as ‘Yell for Art’ videos and ‘Komatcha TV’ on YouTube during the coronavirus pandemic.
March 5 (Fri)
Singing to the full
Kazutoki Umezu (sax, cl), Tavito Nanao (vo, g), Takashi Seo (b)
■My duo with Tavito Nanao is the signature of Petit Ohshigoto. This time, we will have bassist Takashi Seo create the sounds that will be born here to gush out into the ocean via a journey of our songs.
March 6 (Sat)
Kazutoki Umezu (sax, cl), Takeharu Hayakawa (b), Takashi Kikuchi (ds)＋Ippei Kato (g)
■D.U.B. has become even more ambitious and creative in their live performances with three members. What kind of photosynthesis will happen if we are joined by the rare guitar player Ippei Kato?
March 7 (Sun)
Kazutoki Umezu (sax, cl), Natsuki Kido (g), Yoshihito Eto (ds）
■Once this engine is started, there is no choice but to go as far as we can go. This is a fast and stormy session, running at full throttle toward an unknown landing point.