- By mrsmusic40
- December 15, 2016
- Comments Off on THURS. FEB. 23, 2017 – OTONANA TRIO
Otonana Trio is a three piece band from Tokyo, Japan, with Kentaro Saito on Guitar/Vocal, Kazuhisa Maekawa on Bass, and Hikari Kuroda on Drums. Their biggest influence was none other than their audience. They have played over 300 shows at which more than 80% were at dive bars, they learned the crowds wanted to dance. This influenced the band’s evolution from modern jazz to a lively, high-energy funk sound.
Kentaro Saito, lead guitarist and vocalist of Otonana Trio, is not new to the American music scene. In fact he graduated from one of the most prestigious music schools in Hollywood with awards, and has a degree in Jazz performance. Kentaro began playing guitar at the corner of the French restaurant in NYC, getting paid $50 a night when he was a student of the music school on 14th street, this lit a fire in Kentaro to start a band.
He and a couple of students at the school agreed that it was logical to play music other than Jazz to reach the masses. However, none of them having any formal vocal lessons or experience had led them to become an Avant Garde punk band. The punk band was somewhat popular by breaking into CMJ Top 80, headlining at one of the biggest festivals in Taiwan, Kentaro was described as “playing guitar like Hendrix, and performing stage kung-fu like Bruce Lee. Although they had a good run the band decided it was time to move on.
Kentaro moved back to Japan, but after the devastating Earthquake, he decided it was time for another change. He formed Otonana Trio and his old band mate came on board to help with bookings and they took off. Kentaro brought to the trio the Japanese version of the slap funk master in Kazuhisa Maekawa, on bass, and the funkiest female drummer in Hikari Kuroda. Otonana Trio is the Japanese version of P-funk with a touch of Hendrix, Les Claypool, and Sheila E.