Ryukyu Koten Afuso Ryu Ongaku Kenkyuu Choichi Kai USA – Hawaii Chapter presents:
Wachimugukuru Utati Katayabira
Sharing My Heart Through Song
Uta-Sanshin Solo Concert
by Kenton Odo
Kenton Odo, master of the Afuso style of uta-sanshin — singing while playing the sanshin — presents a solo concert entitled “Wachimugukuru Utati Katayabira: Sharing My Heart Through Song.” It will be held on Saturday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at the Pearl City Cultural Center.
In the world of classical Ryukyuan performing arts, an artist’s solo recital is a rite of passage when his mentor(s) express that a student has achieved a level of mastership. Odo’s signature vocals and musicianship express the powerful and poetic Afuso style passed down from over 300 years ago.
“Wachimugukuru Utati Katayabira” is a story of a local boy’s soulful journey and his love for classical Okinawan music. The concert will feature an ensemble of master musicians and dancers from Hawai’i and abroad. Another special treat includes a performance by the Odo Family.
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Odo is of Japanese and Okinawan descent. For 30 years, he has been training under National Living Treasure of Japan, Grand Master Choichi Terukina of Okinawa, and Master Grant Murata of Hawai‘i. He received his Saikosho (top level certification exam) for classical uta-sanshin in 2007 placing first. He, along with June Nakama and Calvin Nakama, were the first foreigners to pass Saikosho for classical uta-sanshin. Odo was awarded his Shihan (masters) certificate for uta-sanshin in 2010 and Kyoshi (instructor’s license) certificate for kuucho (Okinawan fiddle) in 2015.
“I want to share with people why I fell in love with Okinawan music and dance, show the depth and emotion behind these songs from hundreds of years ago, and why the meaning behind these songs are beautiful and relevant, even today,” said Odo.