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Alan Patton

Alan Patton is a multi-instrumentalist (accordion, clarinets, musical saw, percussion, electronics, ....etc.) who has collaborated with a long list of well-known artists of the thriving Tokyo underground theater and music scenes. Originally from California, he arrived in Japan in 1996 and began playing music full-time after moving from the countryside to Tokyo in 2000. His music is heavily influenced by traditional music of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, which is often characterized by dark melodies expressed with a joyful exuberance. It may seem a strange genre to pursue in Japan, but there is no shortage of incredible musicians (deservedly or not, Japan has long had the reputation of producing musicians of great technical virtuosity in popular, jazz, and classical music, while being short on creativity -- Not so in the incredibly vibrant and eclectic "underground" scenes of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and...!) creating wonderful hybrid strains of world music and mixed genre adventures. In particular, Alan has found traditional japanese "Chin-don" (groups which once commonly roved the streets with their unmistakably japanese chin-don {the name is an onomatopoeia} percussion accompanied by saxophones, accordions, tubas, etc.) to have close affinity with many forms of gypsy and eastern european music. He also has enjoyed "gypsifying" okinawan folk songs and japanese Enka (postwar pop songs).
Alan has travelled all over Japan playing for a multitude of events and festivals, primarily as a member of gypsy and popular music duo KECSKE BROASCA with 5-string violinist Miki Komatsubara. Along with music from Russia and Eastern Europe, KB performs everything from popular children's tunes to italian Canzone in pseudo gypsy fashion.
Of his own projects, currently most active are his two bands KATSURA MAZURKA and SABI. KM is a trio with Alan's accordion and occasional vocals accompanied by Yoko Tada (a member of world-renowned reed player Kazutoki Umezu's band KOMATCHA KLEZMER) on clarinets and saxes, and Satoshi "Abdul" Iwahara (founding member of chin-don band KABOCHA SHOKAI) on bass and tuba. SABI is an accordion duo with Spannko (from the band FUKU), in which Alan also plays Andes (a sort of keyboard flute) and musical saw while sharing vocal duties. Both bands play a variety of original songs and rearrangements of traditional songs from many countries.
He is also a founding member of YOTARO WITH METROMANCE HOTEL along with leader Yotaro Ito, composer, actor and longtime leader of new wave (turned new world music!) band METROFARCE. He played together with the late and very very great singer/violinist/composer Honzi in the bands NINO TRINCA and METROMANCE HOTEL, and as the duo BABA YAGA. Other well-known artists he has performed or collaborated with include diva Emi Eleonola (DEMI SEMI QUAVER), artist Suzuki Cohji, director/singer Keralino "Kera" Sandorovich (NYLON 100°), singer/accordionist Stefan Iancu (DOLOMITES, ex.GOGOL BORDELLO), actor/singer Tomorowo Taguchi ("Tetsuo: The Iron Man", BACHIKABURI), actor/singer Hiroshi Mikami ("Swallowtail"), actor/singer Minosuke (NYLON 100°) and many many others.
Recent large-scale activities:
2003 - Became a HEAVEN ARTIST licensed street musician.
2004 - Released first solo CD "Paranoid Shepherd"
2005 - Performed in Matsuo Suzuki's major musical "Kirei".
2008 - Worked with FUKU, composing and recording music for children's artist COLOBOCKLE's DVD "Tsuzuki no Ohanashi".
2009 - Composed music for and performed in theatre group PAPPA TARAHUMARA's avant-garde dance musical "Punk Don Quixote".
- Released second solo CD "Lenin's Tricycle"