Local acoustic music duo Sound Traveler (Bob & Patty Tatum) is preparing to embark on a five-week tour of Japan this fall, visiting 11 cities and playing a variety of showsWhile it will be Bob’s first trip to Asia, for Patty this trip will be a homecoming of sorts, as she lived in Nagoya from 1990 to 1996 while working as an English instructor and performing with Freedom Jazz Orchestra.
One of Sound Traveler’s scheduled appearances will take place at Good Time Charlie’s, a country bar in Kumamoto owned and operated by Charlie Nagatani, a Kentucky Colonel who has repeatedly performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Sound Traveler will also perform at Music Bar Armadillo and Shooters Sports Bar & Grill, both in Nagoya, as well as the Car-Den concert venue in the Nagoya area. In addition, they will present various cultural workshops featuring American music and dance at Keiwa College in Niigata, and other performances may be added to the schedule.
“Twenty years ago, if you told me that I would be coming back to Japan in 2016 with my husband to perform on the same bill as Japan’s most famous country musician, I would’ve laughed at you!” Patty says. “But it’s really happening. Who’d have thought that a chance meeting so many years ago could lead to this? Pinch me, I must be dreaming!” But thanks to the help of Patty’s friends who are offering homestays, setting up shows, and organizing reunion parties, this dream is coming true.
Although the performance aspect of the tour is the driving force behind Sound Traveler’s visit to Japan, they are looking forward to cultural opportunities as well. Bob and Patty will stay with friends all over Japan as well as experience traditional Japanese hotels, a Tokyo apartment, and even a Buddhist temple. Members of Freedom Jazz Orchestra, the main group Patty performed with when she lived in Nagoya, are planning to celebrate her return with a party. She also can’t wait to introduce Bob to her homestay family, whom she first met 25 years ago in the southern island of Kyushu, and then travel to Kyoto to meet her little host sister who’s now grown up with a family of her own.
“The kindness and generosity of my friends in Japan, even after so many years of separation, has been overwhelming. I’m sure I’ll cry more than once on this trip, especially when I hug my 92-year-old Japanese host grandma. I’ve got to start brushing up on my Japanese soon!” says Patty.
Patty’s mom Nancy is also joining Sound Traveler on the journey. “Somebody’s gotta carry the bags!” Bob jokes. Nancy will be helping in various ways, including merchandising and multimedia.
Sound Traveler is a full-time professional acoustic music duo that combines energy and a wide variety of instruments, including guitar, trumpet, bass, concertina, percussion, harmonica, and lead/harmony vocals, to create feel-good acoustic music in different genres such as classic rock/pop/country covers, light jazz, classy standards, folk, Americana, and originals. With over 1500 shows and counting since 2010, Sound Traveler tours regularly throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, and has also played in Costa Rica and Washington, DC.
For more information, contact Bob and Patty Tatum at (407) 312-3420 or www.soundtravelerband.com.
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