How To Tour Japan : A workshop for Independent Musicians


How To Tour Japan Workshop:

For Independent Musicians

(Jazz, alternative, punk, experimental - anything actually)

October 21st (Fri) The Music Salon

Japan is not only about ramen and Uniqlo, for us musicians it means a melting pot of crazy and diverse expressions of music and loads of attractive performance venues and opportunity - or at least it looks like it! Whether you are in the mainstream scene or underground, most of us have once fantasized about making it 'big in Japan', being there performing for committed and frantic audience with nightly uchiage (after party/supper) - But how?

Yeah you've been there to play a show, but nothing has really happened ever since...how can we make it more worthwhile?!
How to be part of their scene?!

Being a Japanese enterprise in Singapore and our director Aya being Aya, Bon Goût Music has always supported tours of non-Japanese acts (and supporting Japanese acts in Singapore & New York City) and we've finally come to officially organise it.

The Plan

6:40pm Door opens

7:00pm Part 1 - Basics (1 hour)

8:00pm Break (20min)

8:20pm Part 2 - Sharing (30min)
Interview style discussions with panel

9pm Part 3 - Q & A and Summary (30min)

9:30pm End

Message from Aya

"Hi guys - I really don't think I can cover everything there is to know, and I am definitely not an encyclopedia but I do know what I know and the tendency from years of (20years) doing it myself as well as supporting many people on both as receiving (Japan) side and visiting side with non Japanese groups. I hope to at least clarify some things so you can all think constructively what should be done. I also have a very strong principle and would like to share about what makes your presence impactful and grow your fanbase especially in Japanese non-mainstream scene.

It will be a 2-hour workshop and I will be using some of my own experiences to explain how basics work. I have also invited 2 very special guest panelists; SAM2 (Shimokitazawa & Shibuya Yaneura, Mao Livehouse, Summer Sonic) and Vivian Wang from the one and only, The Observatory - who are the experts in this area. With them I will be sharing more. I've also interviewed and got heartfelt advices from some of the movers and shakers of non-mainstream scene; promoters, venue managers, booking agents, festival organisers & industry professionals.

Hope this can be an opportunity for you to expand your territory!"

Workshop topics will include :

  • Popular venues models and style of programming (Jazz clubs, live houses, cafes, salons etc.)
  • Sound, equipment, stage - what to expect?
  • Income – how does it work? Do we get paid? Do we make profit?
  • Visa - how to apply? Do we really need it? How and what are the options?
  • How to book gig as a non-Japanese group...where to start?
  • Festivals
  • How to budget it? What's included?
  • Transport & Accommodation
  • Communication
  • So what's most important thing to know?

Several experts in Japan have been interviewed and they shared their comments & advices :

Complimentary for you:

The ticket comes with 1 x complimentary Onigiri by ever persistent authentic rice-ball brand SAMURICE , and a glass of whisky by Naked Grouse - who always believes in what Bon Goût Music does.

Chasers, soft drinks and beers will be available for purchase at the venue, so bring cash!

About the speaker / facilitator :


Aya Sekine is a Japanese Jazz pianist/composer/educator who has been actively performing worldwide over the past 2 decades. She is best known for her soulful and dynamic style of Jazz and improvisations, but also for cross-genre collaborations with artists from different backgrounds. Besides being an established artist, she is also known as a founder and artistic director of live music program of Blu Jaz Cafe (2006-2016) and many events and concerts she has programmed and promoted in New York City, Japan and Singapore.

With her forward thinking to impact the society, in 2012 Aya founded Bon Goût Music as a multi-faceted enterprise, bringing her experiences in consulting and programming to the company, along with her phenomenal global network of contacts. She has recently incorporated a brand-new organisation We Love Jazz (Singapore) Ltd. to support and strengthen the community of jazz, improvised music and improvised art forms in Singapore.

She is currently pursuing Master's Degree in Arts and Cultural Management at LASALLE College Of The Arts, holds BA(Hons) in Jazz Performance('14) from the same school, and Professional Diploma in Jazz Piano Performance from Berklee College Of Music('94).




Our 2 guest panelists :

Vivian Wang (The Observatory)

Classically trained pianist Vivian Wang diverged from much of her formal training when she started avant rock outfit The Observatory in 2001. A TV Producer-Presenter for arts and travel documentaries as well as a film music supervisor, Vivian has focused solely on music, performance and interdisciplinary work since 2008. Vivian performs on synth, keyboard, voice and percussion. Vivian tags Alice Coltrane, Robert Wyatt, Mark Hollis, Bill Evans and Annapurna Devi as her all time favourite musical heroes.


SAM2 (Samu Ni)

(Yaneura, MAO Live China, Summer Sonic)

Originally from Hokkaido, SAM2 started to perform as a half of notorious Japanese grind-core/noise unit Dosanko Anal (Do Thank Anal) in 1995 in Kouenji Live House 20000V. Known for their sonic experiment in short and hi-impact performances featuring home-made sub-woofers, noise machines and his partner SAM1 running around screaming while bombarding the audience with shock and humour, DTA has made its name as one of the top (or the bottom) of Japan’s underground scene, and known to have been invited to perform with Ringo Sheena (Tokyo Jihen) at peak of her career.
SAM2 has also been a well known as a general manager of now defunct legendary live-house Shimokitazawa Yaneura (circa 1975) from 1996, and have started up its franchise Shibuya Yaneura (1997) and programmed until 2006 when he was headhunted by Bad News Records to start-up 3 live houses in China; Mao Live Beijing, Shang hai and Kunming where he was assigned as an Executive advisor/managing director. Since 2011 he has been in charge of selecting and programming acts for “Asian Calling” section for Summer Sonic as well as working with organizing team of Taishan MAO International Rock Festival, followed by organizing tour of selected group in Japan. He has been in the management team of Sonic Shanghai in 2013. He has recently moved to Malaysia(Penang) with family and has been planning the next venture.

  • The event description was updated. Diff#200703 2016-10-16 17:10:42
More updates
Fri Oct 21, 2016
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM SGT
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The Music Salon (Niven Road)
WALK-IN (incl. 1 x Onigiri, 1 x Naked Grouse Whisky neat) *Subject to availability SOLD OUT $37.00
EARLYBIRD (incl. 1x Onigiri, 1x Naked Grouse whisky neat) *Limited to 20 pax until 16 OCT MIDNIGHT SOLD OUT $27.00
STANDARD (incl. 1x Onigiri, 1x Naked Grouse whisky neat) SOLD OUT $32.00
Venue Address
49b Niven Road Singapore
Bon Gout Music (ボングウミュージック)