Komatsu Music Festival, Nov 1-4, 2006 -- Part 2
5/28/2017 6:27:26 PM - (cont'd)

So here we meet for the first time, and out comes the story. Even though I wasn't responsible, I felt responsible because he had come just to see me perform and was a fellow American in a foreign land, a New Yorker to boot. It took a couple hours of talking with the hotel front, then the manager, who were all nice but kept sucking their teeth to express, "What shall we do..." The manager called the person who was working the front desk when this happened, who came to the hotel even though he was off duty to try and suss out things. In the end, they exchanged e-mails and the hotel promised to try and work things out.

In the meantime, Nyoro came downstairs. Poor girl had finally made it to the hotel at 3:00 a.m. by means of taking several shinkansens and looked tired but her usual happy self. We were to check out at 10:00 a.m. then head right next door to the event space, a new club called MATS. Poor Joey was sitting in the lobby not knowing quite what to do, and after talking to Nyoro who agreed, we decided to give Joey her room at the ryokan and she stay with me in my room. Joey couldn't be happier to check out of there.

Higuchi-san arrived as well from his morning commute on the plane from Tokyo, and we all walked over to the event space. We were right in front of the Komatsu train station, and there was a big square leading towards the venue which that day was filled with stands with foods and things from all over the world -- it turned out that Komatsu was hosting an international festival that day as well. This area proved to be my hunting ground for lunch (had a mean spicy chicken that, unfortunately, kept me burping even through my performance!), and I also had a 10 minute foot massage that, while painful during the massage, felt great and rejuvenated me.

We had a small dressing room area that all the artists and musicians participating in the event hung out at, and at times it felt like a zoo, but everyone was really nice. I remembered unfortunately that over the years it was events like this that I had gotten my wallet stolen so was careful this time around, making sure that Nyoro hung on to it the whole night. After sound check I was introduced to the flautist, Ryo, who was going to sit in with us, alongside Kimura-san on sax and ____ on percussions for a couple of tunes. Jazztronik members had meanwhile arrived and were doing their sound check. I thought Nozaki-san, the leader, was just going to do a DJ set so it was interesting to see what kind of set up they had for their live. Masa was on drums, who I had the pleasure of meeting and playing with for my Honmonji gig in July. He sounded great as usual. But I could see that the sound was going to be a bit of a wrestling match, as is usually the case for huge ensembles on small stages.

Before we knew it, it was time for us to go on stage. Just before we went on, I saw 2 older men, and they turned out to be Matsutake-san (former manipulator for YMO) and the President of Kikuhime sake company, Yanagi-san. Our stage went really well and the audience was fantastic. Ryo turned out to be a really great player, and Kimura-san was really doing a great job, as was ____-san. Higuchi-san was his usual prepared self, always a pleasure to play with, solid like a rock.

(cont'd in part 3)
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