Back in September, one of The Mill Sessions I was able to attend featured world class Japanese violinist Masayuki Kino.
Being a small venue, where you cannot fit more than about 50 or so people in the audience, has plusses and minuses. The biggest advantage is the intimacy – it has the feeling of being just one step up from having someone playing in your living room. You are sitting just a few feet away from the performers and can often feel the music resonating in your chest.
The disadvantage is it means even if the venue sells out, there’s still a very limited amount of money to pay for high quality, better known performers.
We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve managed to find a lot of really good up and coming singers and musicians, and there’s a wealth of local talent we’ve been able to tap into for support acts.
Masayuki Kino, however, is in a totally different league. You would be expecting to pay big bucks for a ticket, and probably dress up in your posh gear to attend a performance. However, this was a case of someone who knew someone who knew someone else, and as he was in the area was happy to do a set in exchange for the door takings to be donated to charity.
He also had two young protégés with him, Tomone Yokoyama and Ena Shibata, who started off the set with outstanding playing, before Kino-san himself treated us to a virtuoso performance.
As with most of the Mill Sessions over the past 2 years, I took photos of the performers for the Mill Hall of Fame before the evening began.
Masayuki Kino, Ena Shibata and Tomone Yokoyama