Uri Nakayama

A Flower Waiting To Bloom

Uri Nakayama got things started at Field Of Heaven with a well-received 50-minute set of jazz-infused selections. Drawing material from both her 2007 discs, Do Re Mi Fa and Etranger, and from her recently released EP Natsu Matsuri Azayakani (which fittingly enough means "summer festival") the prolific accordionist had the early-morning revelers dancing under sunny skies in FOH's expansive live area as thousands of bubbles rose from the backstage tents and floated lazily overhead.

Seated at centre stage with her trademark large flower pinned to her hair, Nakayama was surrounded by her eight-piece backing band which included an acoustic guitarist, drummer, percussionist, stand up bassist, and four horn players. The horn section added an upbeat edge to her excellent blend of pop, folk, and jazz. The trombonist appeared to be having as much fun as the crowd as she bounced around with a huge grin on her face when not performing. Looking to give the audience a bit of a breather from the heat, the horn section retreated from the stage as Nakayama and crew slowed things down causing everyone to lightly sway back and forth while mopping the sweat from their brows as they enjoyed the sounds of the warm, organic, instrumentation being created.

The brass players re-emerged for the final few songs allowing Nakayama to inject a final shot of energy to propel fans old and new through what will likely be a long day filled with countless musical highlights that will complement her opening slot.

Photo by Naoaki Okamura

Reported by Shawn Despres (2008.07.25 / 15:25)

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