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Kazuhiro Inaba

プロフィール写真vocalist, bluegrass musician
country singer
guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle

"Kazuhiro Inaba has emerged as a highly regarded Japanese banjo and guitar picker."
- Bluegrass by Richard D. Smith


Kazuhiro Inaba has been one of premier bluegrass artists in Japan.

Kazuhiro Inaba was born in Osaka, Japan in 1960, and currently lives in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo, Japan. Kazuhiro started playing 5-string banjo when he was fifteen years old. His biggest influence has been his father and brother, he started to perform Bluegrass music with his brother, Masatoshi Inaba (mandolinist) in mid-70's in Japan.

Selected Biography
1982 - First trip to the United States
1982-1988 Performed at the various bluegrass festivals and conventions in Kentucky, Virginia, and California (McLain Family Festival, Galax Fiddler's Convention, Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival etc.)
1983 - Won the second place of Bluegrass Banjo contest at Old Fiddler's Convention at Galax, Virginia
1986 - Released the first solo album 'Shore To Shore' from Red Clay Records
Started to perform as a trio with Hiroyuki Satoh (Dobro guitarist) and Ippei Kodera (Bassist) in Kansai district in Japan
1989 - Second solo album 'Hard Times, Come Again No More' was recorded in San Francisco, California, and released from Red Clay Records
1992 - "Worries On My Mind" off from 'Hard Times, Come Again No More' was chosen on CD 'Long Journey Home', a Collection of Bluegrass from around the World by IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association)
1993 - Third solo album 'Goin' Across the Sea' was recorded in Virginia and released from Hay Holler Records
Japan tour with Butch Robins (Banjoist)
1994 - Japan tour with Butch Robins (Banjoist) and Larry Stephenson (Mandolinist)
Bluegrass Christmas tour with Keith Little (Banjoist/Guitarist/Vocalist)
Founded Office White Oak, Inc.      
1995- Organized and performed Charity Bluegrass Concert for Hanshin/Kobe Earthquakes with Butch Robins, Dudley Connell (Guitarist) and Andy Owens (Mandolinist)
Produced the Lonesome River Band Japan Tour '95
Performed at Greater Downstate Indoor Bluegrass Festival in Decatur, Illinois
Performed at Station Inn, Nashville, Tennessee with Keith Little, Bobby Hicks, Don Rigsby, Randy Howard and Missy Raines as the Bluegrass Brothers.
1996 - Organized and performed with Frank Wakefield (Mandolinist)
Performed at Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival in Tacoma, Washington
Performed with Maro Kawabata at Salmon Arm Bluegrass Festival and Kamloops Bluegrass Festival in British Columbia, Canada
Produced the Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers Japan Tour '96
1997 - Founded Oak Music Therapy
Started the workshop/lecture project, "Let's sing Country songs and get familiar with the American culture", sponsored by Osaka City Education Committee.
Performed at Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, Guthrie, Oklahoma
Perform at Class of the Bluegrass concert in Danville, Kentucky
1998 - Recorded the fourth album 'Dixie Dream' in Nashville, TN with Buddy Spicher, Bobby Hicks, Randy Howard, Keith Little, Ronnie McCoury, Roland White, Gene Libbea, and Gene Wooten. (Released from Copper Creek Records)
Started commercial tour to the Mississippi River Country (i.e. Bardstwon, KY; Nashville, TN; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA etc.) and other music oriented places in the States.
1999 - NHK TV appearance in November 'Senkyaku Banrai'
First place at National Bluegrass Championship in Shiga, Japan
Formed Buegrass Ramble and started monthly bluegrass concert in Osaka
2000 - Kansai TV appearance in March through May
Bluegrass Ramble won the first place at National Bluegrass Championship
Country Christmas tour with Keith Little
2001 - Founded Office White Oak Studio in Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Country Christmas tour with Keith Little
2002 - Recorded 'Teardrop On A Rose' with Buddy Spicher, Bob Moore, Kathy Chiavola and Keith Little in Nashville, TN.
2003 - The fifth solo album 'Teardrop On A Rose' has been released from Copper Creek Records in April 2003.
2007 - Joined Butch Robins' 'The World International Bluegrass Band' as the lead vocalist and guiarist. The World International Blue Grass Band performed several shows in Virginia including TV program "Song Of the Mountains", and IBMA 2007 'Fan Fest'.
2008 - Office White Oak annual US commercial tour made its 10th trip.
Visiting Bardstown, Kentucky, Rosine, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee was the pilgrimage to the American music icons - Stephen Foster and Bill Monroe.
"Song Of The Mountains" that featured The World International Blue Grass Band was on air by PBS broadcasting in U.S. in May.
2009 - Bluegrass Ramble made the 10th anniversary.
Country Wind 2009 was held at Amity Hall in Nishinomiya City in March. Pop singer, the late Kiyohiko Ozaki joined the concert as the guest singer.
Bluegrass Ramble performed at Country Gold 2009 in Kumamoto in October.
The sixth solo album, "Country Heart" has been released from Southern Breeze Records in October. The recordings included Nashville A-Team session players, Buddy Spicher, Lloyd Green, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, Pete Wade and others.
2012 - The First Annual Kazuhiro Inaba Bluegrass Camp (KazCamp - outdoor bluegrass festival) will be held in Mino, Osaka in May.
2013 - Produced and performed the tour with Mike Compton in Kumamoto, Tokyo, and Kobe.
2014 - Invited to perform at Wayne Henderson's Music Festival & Guitar Competition at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, Viriginia.

Office White Oak has produced several Japan tours for artists such as Butch Robins (banjoist), Larry Stephenson (mandolinist), Keith Little (banjoist), Dudley Connell (guitarist), Frank Wakefield (mandolinist), Sammy Shelor (banjoist), the Lonesome River Band, Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers, and Mike Compton (mandolinist).

Also, Inaba started the lecture/workshop project which teaches to sing the familiar American country songs since 1997. Through singing those songs, he informs the background of the songs and the culture of American music. He teaches at several culture centers in Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo.

Selected Discography
RC-107 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Shore To Shore' (1986)
RC-109 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Hard Times, Come Again No More' (1989)
HHH-CD-104 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Goin' Across the Sea' (1993)
CCCD-0166 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Dixie Dream' (1999)
SBR-1001 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Country Songs For Singing' (2002)
CCCD-0216 Kazuhiro Inaba 'Teardrop On A Rose' (2003)
SBR-9001 Kazuhiro Inaba "Country Heart" (2009)


[Private Photos]


Rainbow Valley Bluegrass Band


Rainbow Valley Bluegrass Band has performed at various events and concerts, and have wide selections from country, bluegrass, gospel, blues that are familiar with most audience.

Musicians
Kazuhiro Inaba - Guitar, vocal
Hajime Tsutakawa - Fiddle
Yuji Ishihira - Acoustic Bass
Seiji Chigu - Drums

[Concert flyers from the past


Bluegrass Ramble



"Bluegrass Music - from our hearts to yours"

Bluegrass Ramble presents the traditional bluegrass.
Bluegrass Ramble won the first place at Shiga Bluegrass Festival Band Championship in 1999 and 2000.
Bluegrass Ramble now holds live shows every other month at Mister Kelly's in downtown Osaka.


Musicians

Kazuhiro Inaba - Guitar, vocal
Randy Cotten - Banjo, vocal
Hajime Tsutakawa - Fiddle, vocal
Souhei Ito - Mandolin, vocal
Yuji Ishihira - Acoutic Bass, vocal

Bluegrass Ramble show dates - please see Schedule


Keith Little

Keith Little

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter
Freelance session player
Benecia, California.

Originally from California, he worked for the Country Gentlemen, Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder, and other touring artists like Kathy Kallick and Claire Lynch. His original songs have been recorded by the Country Gentkemen, Tim O'Brien, Crystal Gayle, Claire Lynch, Long View, and etc.

Currently, he joined the recording sessions for David Grisman. Keith has toured with Kazuhiro Inaba for Country Christmas tours in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.


Selected discography
WR-3001 'Schoolhouse' (1998)
CCCD-0189 'Distant Land To Roam' (2001)



The World International Blue Grass Band




… is a collective of stellar acoustic string band musicians from around the planet who perform in the style of the musical ensemble, “Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys”. Alumni Blue Grass Boy, Butch Robins has assembled this group as a tribute to an ever-evolving living/growing musical art form and as a statement endorsing international peace and cooperation. The members of this group are accomplished multi-instrumentalists but for the purpose of this project the cast includes:

Butch Robins - USA - Banjo Host and Master Of Ceremony
Kazuhiro Inaba - Japan - Guitar Vocals Co-Host
Arnold Lasseur - Holland - Mandolin Vocals
Sean McKerr - Ireland - Bass Vocals
Hamish Davidson - Australia - Fiddle Vocals
Jan Johansson -Sweden/USA - Fiddle Vocals

These men are the children and grandchildren of those who first heard the “folk music in overdrive” that has grown into a wonderful addition to the musical landscape of the planet and a voice for common people everywhere.






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