By SATOSHI YAMAZAKI/ Staff Writer
February 15, 2021 at 17:00 JST
From front left: bossa nova singer Lisa Ono, jazz pianist Junko Onishi, novelist Haruki Murakami and jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita at a Murakami Jam live music event in Tokyo on Feb. 14 (Satoshi Yamazaki)
About 100 fans of Haruki Murakami got the best Valentine's Day treat of all on Feb. 14, winning a seat through a lottery to attend a live event the internationally acclaimed author hosted in Tokyo.
Murakami, 72, entertained his audience, reciting one of his works to the tune of bossa nova, introducing songs and sharing his Valentine’s Day memories with a wry sense of humor.
“I got chocolate gifts several times when I was a high school student,” he revealed. “It’s a long time ago, but did we already have Valentine’s Day (gift giving) back then? I remember it was when the Stone Age just ended.”
The second Murakami Jam event, titled “Blame it on the Bossa Nova,” was organized by the Murakami Radio program, which the author hosts while serving as a disc jockey.
Murakami and special guest musicians express the world of his works through music and words at the events.
Murakami served as the Valentine's event's general producer. His close friend, jazz pianist Junko Onishi, acted as music director. The allowed audience capacity was cut to half of usual to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.
“We’re living in a stressful time," Murakami, said, addressing the audience at the opening of the event. "But I hope you can relax and enjoy yourself even just a little bit.”
Bossa nova singer Lisa Ono sang “Agua de Beber” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, while jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita and guitarist Kaori Muraji also gave a performance. Murakami recited “The 1963/1982 Girl from Ipanema,” one of his short stories, accompanied by Muraji’s guitar.
Tickets for the sold-out show were 20,000 yen ($190) each. Seats were sold through a lottery, which drew 1,700 or so applicants.
Fans can still view the show on the internet for 4,000 yen, excluding tax, until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 21. An online video that comes with English subtitles is also offered separately.
For more details, visit the event’s official website at: (https://www.tfm.co.jp/murakamiradio/jam/)
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