The Yoshida Brothers to Perform at Otakon

The first official guest announcement for Otakon 2010 is here. The Yoshida Brothers will perform on Friday night, as well as signing autographs and participating on a panel. "We've been trying to enhance our cultural content over the last few years," said Jim Vowles, Otakon Guest, Industry, and Press Relations Chief. "Since we're kind of well known for musical acts, we've wanted to bring in a traditional music act for some time. We actually approached the Yoshida Brothers two years ago, but this is the first time their schedule and ours have meshed well enough to bring them. We're very excited."

The Yoshida Brothers were born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido. Each picked up the shamisen at the tender age of 5, and began studying Tsugaru shamisen under Takashi Sasaki I in 1990. After sweeping prizes at national Tsugaru shamisen conventions, the brothers made their major debut in 1999. The debut album sold over 100,000 copies, an extraordinary figure for a traditional folk music release. Ever since, they continue to make leaping strides. In 2009, the brothers collaborated with notable talents, including an inspired cover of "The National Anthem" from Radiohead's Kid A.

Vowles said, "While most of our membership will know the shamisen music from those Nintendo Wii commercials, the Yoshida Brothers are one of Japan's best exports — internationally acclaimed and respected for their skills, and crossing genres to work with some of the hottest acts around. They bring a traditional Japanese sound, but infuse it with a very modern energy."

Check them out at www.domo.com/yoshidabrothers. Otakon 2010 will be held July 30 – August 1 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

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