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Kayoko Tachibana CD Release Concert, A Tribute to Nori Tachibana

Kayoko Tachibana and special guest Yutaka Hosoi (from Tokyo) invite you to celebrate the release of her new CD, S-M-I-L-ing Face, a tribute to her late husband Nori Tachibana. They will be joined by Berkeley Jazz guitarist Hideo Date, as well as Morgan Maudiere on piano, Gave Case on bass, and Natsuhiro Maruyama on drums.

Kayoko will be singing her original songs from her recent album, along with Jazz and Bossa Nova standards for this special evening.

Kayoko Tachibana is an El Cerrito-based vocalist, artist, and jeweler with a humble mission: to celebrate love through music. She was born in Fukuoka, Japan, where she first developed her passion for music. She listened to The Carpenters, Lita Coolidge, Carol Bayer Sager, Sergio Mendes, and many movie soundtracks in her youth. She started creating original songs with a friend in high school.

In her first year at Fukuoka University of Education, she met her beloved husband Nori Tachibana through a band: Kayoko as their new lead vocalist and Nori as their lead guitarist. They soon began composing music together and began participating in and won many amateur song contests in the late 1970s. After some member changes, they formed the legendary Fukuoka band Kaja (pronounced "Kaya"), who won the “Best Song Award” at the 19th Annual Yamaha Popular Song Contest and then performed at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo in 1980.

In 1981, Kaja professionally debuted two single records before the group disbanded. In 1983, Nori and Kayoko got married and she gave birth to their only child, Misao, in Tokyo in 1987. Nori, Kayoko, and Misao moved to Brooklyn, NY, in 1989, before settling in San Francisco in 1992. Following their artistic passions, they started a jewelry business called Kayoko Designs, crafting and selling jewelry throughout the Bay Area, while Nori continued developing his music, recording three CDs in recent years.

This beautiful life was upended suddenly on May 21, 2015, when Nori unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. He was 60 years old. Over the next two and a half years, Kayoko’s passion for music would blossom as a way to celebrate the memory of her husband. In her first solo album, S-M-I-L-ing Face, Kayoko pays tribute to the life of her beloved husband, with original lyrics in Japanese and guitar recordings from Nori’s life, including their unpublished songs written almost 38 year ago. The title song was written just before Nori’s passing, and this album reveals Kayoko’s unique voice as an emotional and soul-stirring artist.

S-M-I-L-ing Face is not only a celebration of Nori’s music, and not just a tribute to his memory, but a deep expression of the love they shared and a statement about the love that continues to connect them now, even though they are currently separated by time and space. Kayoko’s voice is gentle, soothing, soft, and sultry - an absolute salve to the soul.

Yutaka Hosoi is a Japanese arranger/composer/multi-instrumentalist who provided Kayoko the support needed to create this loving tribute, and is the founding member of Sentimental City Romance, the longest-running rock band in Japan, celebrating its' 45th anniversary this year.

Tickets are $15 general admission and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

Earlier Event: May 17
Reed Turchi
Later Event: May 19
Yolandra Rhodes, Rod James