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Yoshida Brothers - a dynamic shamisen duo that really rocks

Where traditional shamisen music meets punk, rock, jazz...the talented Yoshida Brothers, a pair of cool dudes play the shamisen like no others.

In their Hong Kong debut late next month, the Yoshida Brothers, a dynamic Tsugaru-shamisen duo, will demonstrate how you can rock and roll with the shamisen. With improvisational techniques, they will transform classic Japanese sounds to energetic world music.

Sporting dyed brown hair, the stylish brothers have been a huge hit among young trend-setters. They reveal themselves to be the epitome of cool as they coax striking sounds from their classical instruments, reinventing shamisen music for a new generation by incorporating elements of jazz, American folk, pop, Latin music, blues and more.

Originating in China, the three-string shamisen was further developed in the Tsugaru district of Aomori Prefecture. It evolved into one of the most important instruments for Japan's folk singers in the 18th century, and a solo instrument in the mid-19th century.

The World Music Central appraised the highly popular trendy duo "play the age-old Tsugaru-shamisen...with the fervor of Jimi Hendrix". New York Times said "It was music of pure sinew".

Born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida both started learning the traditional instrument at a young age under Tsugaru-shamisen master Takashi Sasaki and have won numerous awards in recent years for combining traditional and contemporary music into dynamic new works with a rock and roll edge.

The pair have performed at the Kohaku Uta Gassen and their albums Soulful, Frontier, Renaissance, and Yoshida Brothers I-III have all been best-sellers in Japan and the US - a highly successful example of pop-classical crossover.

"Yoshida Brothers" is one of the programmes of the New Vision Arts Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged on October 28 and 29 at 8pm at the Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium.

Tickets priced at $320, $220 and $120 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts are up to 20% off.

Programme brochures are available at URBTIX outlets or at the website,

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044. Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at

Ends/Friday, September 29, 2006
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