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Four Hands at One Piano for Naha Concert

Date Posted: 2001-01-12

An unusual musical event takes place next Monday at Naha Civic Hall. Keiko Matsui and Bob James are playing one Okinawan date on their “Four Hand Piano” world tour. Four Hand Piano became a very popular style in the 19th Century before recording technology allowed the greatest musicians to be listened to at home. Some people could attend orchestral concerts in person. But for those who did not have the opportunity, many symphonic pieces were re-arranged for two people playing one piano.

Keiko Matsui and Bob James are both renowned “smooth jazz” musicians who have cult followings in the genre. In their Four Hand Piano concerts they play each other’s compositions and arrangements and make a blend of their two styles.

James enjoyed recording the music but says “when only listening to the recordings it’s impossible to know which of us is playing which part and to get a sense of how different it is from just one person playing.” Performing Four Hand Piano, it is possible he adds, “to share the fun we have when our two minds and four hands interweave” and to “travel back in time to experience how audiences from a different era heard music presented in this most simple and direct way”.

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