Superstars in their native Japan, young Tsugaru-shamisen virtuosos Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida - The Yoshida Brothers - have effected nothing short of a cultural revolution with a muscular reinvention of the ancient three-stringed instrument, giving it the fiery passion of a rock n roll guitar. Online world music portal World Music Central notes, Clad in formal, ceremonial attire of kimonos and hakama pants, but sporting the dyed light brown hair that is trendy among Japans savvy youth, the Brothers play the age-old Tsugaru-shamisenan instrument akin to a rustic three-stringed banjowith the fervor of Jimi Hendrix.
Beyond the rock star status these Pacific Rim mavericks have achieved at home with their signature East-meets-West interpretation of a time-honored musical form, they are fast winning major international acclaim as well. By coaxing startlingly vivid sounds out of their timeless instruments, they have reinvigorated Tsugaru-shamisen for a new generation, incorporating elements of jazz, American folk, pop, Latin music, blues and more into their unique musical tapestry.
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