Shamisen of Bachido + Awakko Ren, Free concert
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival | Free. Outdoors. Fresh. A three-string lute plucked and strummed with a plectrum, the shamisen has played an important role in Japanese culture for some five centuries. Santa Cruz's Kyle Abbott became obsessed with the banjo-like instrument about 13 years ago, and created Bachido, an international organization that champions the shamisen via a website, classes and annual gatherings in Japan, Europe and the United States. Abbott and Los Angeles shamisen master Mike Penny kick off the concert playing a combination of traditional Japanese folk songs, improvised duets, originals, and a few old-time Appalachian songs (Abbott's favorite music in his pre-shamisen life). For the second half they'll be joined by the Bay Area Japanese dance group ?San Francisco Awakko-ren?Awaodori, which specializes in a centuries-old festival dance from Tokushima. Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. Part of YBG Festival's Thursday Lunchtime series. For our full summer schedule, visit www.ybgfestival.org.