Written by Katherine Wang, Shine Yuan (Class of 2024) and Veronica Tee (Class of 2023)
Photos by Erica Lai (Class of 2024) and Amy Liu (Class of 2023)
On November 18, 2022, IGDVS had the wonderful opportunity to attend a DRBU workshop and concert featuring world-class guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Mr. Tsukamoto is an innovative guitarist and composer who has performed in venues all over the world, including New York, Boston, and Japan.
Excited at the prospect of meeting such a renowned musician, the students headed eagerly to the guitar workshop. Some of the students even brought along their own guitars and stringed instruments. After the workshop, the junior high students commented on the experience, calling it “peaceful, insightful, and memorable.”
That evening, the students also attended Mr. Tsukamoto’s Cinematic Guitar Poetry concert at Sudhana Center in downtown Ukiah. With a setlist of over five original compositions, the performance showcased his mastery of artistic expression. Each song told its own story using distinct but harmonious techniques that evoked a wide range of emotions in the audience. The students were equally fascinated by the simple traditional Japanese tunes and the multi-layered compositions that used a looper pedal to create depth.
Hillary Tran (Class of 2023) described the experience as “enlightening,” motivating her in her own musical journey. Saxophonist Cherry Ngo (Class of 2024) remarked, “It was a new and different experience for me. It exposed me to a genre I’ve had yet to fully absorb myself in, and the intimacy between Hiroya and his instrument inspires me to embrace my own as well.”
For more information, visit Hiroya Tsukamoto’s website at https://hiroyatsukamoto.com. Thank you, Mr. Tsukamoto, for such a wonderful workshop and concert, and thank you to the DRBU Arts Initiative for organizing this event!