In December 2000, Bob played his first concert tour in Japan. There were many highlights on this trip! In Tokyo, Bob teamed up with Daikagura juggling master Kosen Kagami and his troupe. For the first time ever, these two very different folk arts of our two very different cultures were joined together: Bob played ragtime piano while Master Kagami demonstrated the traditional Japanese juggling art. This union was so successful that Master Kagami has come to the U.S. to perform with Bob on several occasions and there are plans for many more joint performances, in both the U.S. and Japan.
Bob's very first solo piano performance in Japan took place in the beautiful town of Kananchou. Bob was given such a wonderfully warm reception there that he has named Kananchou his official hometown in Japan. In turn, Kananchou has named Bob an honorary citizen of their town!
During his trip, Bob was able to meet with representatives of the ragtime group in Nagoya, visit with fellow musicians in Kyoto, and perform at the American School in Japan.
Bob onstage at Kananchou School, December 2000. Photo courtesy Dennis Wicks.
Bob in Kyoto, December 2000. Photo courtesy Linda Milne.
Bob in Tokyo, Japan. December 2000. Photo courtesy Linda Milne.
John O'Leary, Head of American School in Tokyo, Japan, and Bob Milne.
December 2000. Photo courtesy of Dennis Wicks.
Click here for photos of Bob and officials from the Japanese consulate and officials of Lapeer, Michigan declaring Kanancho Bob's official hometown in Japan.
The entire trip was arranged by Suzuki-Myers and Associates as part of their series "Effective Japanese Communications." This connection is an effort of ArtBridge, a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between diverse cultures through the performing and graphic arts. You can see their website at this address: http://www.suzukimyers.com. (will open in a new browser window).