He started, as a young teen, with the five-string banjo – which isn’t where most musicians start. For every virtuoso (Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck) or famous face (Steve Martin) who increases appreciation for the beloved/bedeviled banjo, there are dozens more who don’t attempt its trickery.
Hiroya Tsukamoto, from Kyoto, Japan, switched to guitar and eventually moved on to a classical-influenced jazz sound after attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. But the singer/songwriter’s early technical mastery of the banjo has served him well as he’s developed his own intricate style, influenced by world-music textures from South America, as well.
Tsukamoto has led concerts at NYC’s famous Blue Note, and has appeared at a long litany of international folk and jazz fests. Hard-to-please media institutions including the Boston Herald and Jazz Review.com have gushed about Tsukamoto’s playing; the latter outlet calls it “zealously recommended.”
The musician appears in a late-afternoon performance at Flat Rock Cinema at the Singleton Centre on Sunday, August 9 – a fitting stop for one whose oeuvre has been described as “cinematic.” The show is part of the Magnolia Acoustic Concert Series.