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11-20 November 2022

#WeAreJazz

OKI

OKI

Mon 14 November 2022

Stage time / 8:30pm

Doors / 8:00pm

Book Tickets

Location

LONDON Cafe OTO,
18 - 22 Ashwin street
E8 3DL

Tickets

£14 + booking fee

Tender tonkori melodies, meditative dub excursions and Ainu folk songs combine on 'Tonkori in the Moonlight', an 11-track collection of mostly traditional songs performed by indigenous Ainu musician OKI.

Born on the Japanese island of Hokkaido in 1957, OKI is a contemporary of the likes of Haroumi Hosono and Midori Takada, yet as a musician who blends Ainu folk music with international influences his style is singular in the canon of Japanese music though he is quick to point out: “I might travel on a Japanese passport but I am Ainu”

Embracing reggae, dub, Irish folk, throat singing, African drumming and music from Central Asia, it is OKI’s openness to international influences that has seen him revitalise Ainu folk music - breathing new life into a musical culture that was on the verge of extinction. 

He is one of only a handful of musicians who play the tonkori, a five-stringed Ainu harp, which is both the pulse of this record and the force that unifies the disparate sounds he introduces: “I’ve never seen a traditional tonkori player”, he says “They were all dead when I started”.

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