Japan’s only professional Spanish bagpipe player, Yuki Kojima, has been making the rounds on Saipan, including tonight’s performance at Coffee & Jazz Lounge Bar and tomorrow night’s American Red Cross signature Club 200 fundraiser.
The musician, whose stage name is Koji Koji Moheji, visited Saipan Southern High School and Northern Marianas College yesterday to share his passion for playing the Spanish bagpipe.
He has traveled the world performing in street festivals and before theatre audiences with the Spanish Gaita Galega, known as the traditional bagpipe of Galicia. The word “gaita” is used across northern Spain as a generic term for “bagpipe.”
Today, he will be visiting Mount Carmel School and Koblerville Elementary School, said IT&E marketing coordinator Brad Ruszala.
Tonight, the musician will be performing at Coffee & Jazz Lounge Bar in Garapan.
Coffee & Jazz operations manager Kayoko “Kay” Irinaka said that doors open at 7pm.
A much larger crowd will get to experience Kojima’s music in Saturday night’s American Red Cross Club 200 fundraiser at Fiesta Resort & Spa in Garapan.
On Monday, Kojima will also be visiting Kagman High School and Whispering Palms School/Brilliant Star Montessori, Ruzsala said.
Kojima started playing the piano in elementary school, and studied composing and playing drums in junior high school. He later attended a vocational school for music and learned how to play the Scottish bagpipes.
After mastering the Scottish bagpipe over a four-year period, Kojima began playing a bagpipe from Galicia, Spain. Since there were no instructors in Japan, he went to study in Galicia, where he perfected his skills. He now uses the Gaita Galega bagpipe in his concerts.
He has traveled the world for his performances. He can also play an antique French barrel organ, a tin whistle, and the Irish flute.
Kojima’s trip to Saipan is sponsored by Budweiser, IT&E, Hertz and Circle Rock Entertainment.