Bring back the music
A few months before the pandemic hit I had discovered a really great jam session in Shibuya. It was being held every second Sunday at The Room. Those who were lucky enough to be in Tokyo in the 90s and early 2000 during the DJ / dance music boom might remember the Room as THE place to be for a rich tapestry of organic, rhythm driven dance music. Their specialty was Jazz crossover. Many stars have shot out of that basement juke joint. I imagine many more will. Despite the pandemic, the room is still surviving. At this point it should be turned into a World Heritage site. Anyway...every second Tuesday, members of Jaribu Afrobeat Arkestra got together for a jam. They are a formidable Afrobeat band that stands proud amount the world’s greats. If you don’t believe me, get on Google and listen for yourself.
Tokyo is so alive with music from all corners of the globe and, the horror of some, ppropriation is a sign of appreciation here. There is no genre or cultural mode of expression in the world worth the attention of humanity that is not appropriated most deeply here in Japan. That is an amazing and beautiful thing because it expands the global outreach of all those cultural innovations and allows them to evolve over time. Afrobeat was born in Nigeria, but, in a small and deeply influential bar in Shibuya, it found a home For a while. I hope it comes back when the pandemic is finally over.