New York band to perform traditional Japanese harp and guitar concert in downtown Knoxville

The concert will take place Sunday on Clinch Avenue. The public can also register to join a Zoom concert and watch from home.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A band from New York will perform a unique concert in downtown Knoxville on Sunday to celebrate the New Year.

The group includes Masayo Ishigure, who started playing traditional Japanese instruments at the age of 5. Since then she has broadened her skills and her sound. His koto performances are basically traditional, but also merge modern styles of music.

She will be joined by other professional Japanese harp and guitar players, known as ‘koto’ and ‘shamisen’. The koto is the national instrument of Japan.

Their performance will take place on Clinch Avenue, next to the East Tennessee History Center. The event will be public and people are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

It starts at 2:15 p.m. and the band will play until 2:45 p.m.

People will also be able to register for a free Zoom concert, so that they can enjoy traditional Japanese music from their homes. This concert starts at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Another event will also begin at 4:15 pm on Clinch Avenue: the traditional making of mochi, or “mochitsuki”. If you’ve never seen a mochi being made, this is an awesome activity using a big mortar and mallets.

There will also be Japanese New Year activities including calligraphy, Kimono photo booth, and traditional toys for children throughout the day. People will also have the opportunity to learn how to make traditional Japanese crafts.

The event is organized by the Knox Asian Festival. Anyone wishing to participate can register online.


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