NIHON unplugged: Music from Japan and Pakistan

NIHON Unplugged: Music from Japan and Pakistan” Show Held in National Art Gallery, Islamabad
Islamabad: 20th September 2017
The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts organized a joint music performance of Pakistani and Japanese artists titled “NIHON Unplugged: Music from Japan and Pakistan” at the auditorium of National Art Gallery on Wednesday 20th September 2017. The Japanese musicians known as ‘The Trio Zipang’ where Mr. Takanabe is a percussionist; Ms. Tabata is a saxophone player; and Ms. Kitagawa is a pianist, together with the Pakistani artists greatly entertained the audience and won a great applause.
Year 2017 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan. To mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad has held a variety of cultural events in various cities of Pakistan throughout the year to further strengthen the existing friendly relations among the people of two countries.
While welcoming the Japanese artists to Pakistan, Mr. Junya Matsuura, Charge d’ Affaires ad interim of Japan to Pakistan, in his opening remarks said that  the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan has always strived to share Japanese culture with Pakistani people as we believe that sharing one’s culture brings people together. He said Japan and Pakistan share a friendly bond, which has strengthened over the years.
 Mr. Matsuura greatly appreciated the visiting Japanese artists for coming all the way from Japan to participate in the celebration of 65th anniversary of establishment of Japan and Pakistan’s diplomatic relations and 70th anniversary of Independence of Pakistan. He also thanked the Pakistani artists, especially those who came from Peshawar, for collaborating with the Japanese artists to create beautiful melodies for the audience.
Mr. Matsuura expressed his gratitude to the officials of Pakistan National Council of the Arts for putting their valuable collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in organizing this event and hoped that PNCA and the Embassy of Japan will continue to work together for strengthening the existing bilateral cultural relations between the two friendly countries in the future as well.
Brief Profile of Japanese Musicians:
  1. Mr. Ayumu TAKANABE (Percussionist)
Mr. Takanabe is Percussionist of Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra since 1996 and a lecturer of Osaka College of Music and Yuhigaoka High School. Mr. Takanabe appears on more than 100 stages a year such as guest appearances in different orchestra, studio recordings and adjudicator of national wide contests. He is also executive member of Kansai Percussion Association.
  1. Ms. Naomi TABATA (Saxophone player)
Alto Saxophone player of Osaka Shion Wind Orchestra as well as a lecturer of Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Tokushima Bunri University and Kyoto Horikawa Music High School. She graduated and earned Master’s degree from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. She was semi-finalist of the 51st Geneva International Music Competition and the 2nd Adolphe Sax International Competition, 4th prize winner of the 16th Japan Wind and Percussion Competition and Best Teacher Award winner of the 12th Osaka International Music Competition. She also released two albums from Meister Music.
  1. Ms. Emi KITAGAWA (Pianist)
Pianist and a lecturer of Osaka College of Music, Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Soai University, Soai High School and Ishiyama High School. She graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and earned Master’s degree from Hochschule fur Musik Freiburg, Germany. She has performed piano concerts with many orchestras including the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Geidai Philharmonia Orchestra, Tokyo and the College Operahouse Orchestra, Osaka.