Indie Musician Kishi Bashi to Perform with the UGA Symphony Orchestra

September 22, 2022

A man plays a violin outside in front of a monument

“He really is a one-man orchestra. But backed by the real thing, the results were even more stunning.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and Athens favorite Kishi Bashi has carved out a unique place for himself in America’s diverse sonic landscape. With a musical vocabulary drawing from indie pop, rock, beatboxing, vocal looping, and even classical violin, he defies easy categorization yet has achieved international appeal.

Following its recent premiere with the St. Louis Symphony, his new orchestral show comes to Hodgson Concert Hall for an unforgettable night of music featuring songs from his catalogue and selections from EO9066, his powerful work about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The concert, featuring the UGA Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Mark Cedel, is a coproduction of UGA Presents and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym for violin virtuoso K Ishibashi. Having recorded, toured, and collaborated with such diverse artists as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal, Kishi Bashi released his first full-length album 151a via Joyful Noise in 2012, which received high praise and the title of NPR’s Best New Artist of The Year. K’s follow-up album Lighght expanded his palette to include more diverse and nuanced instrumentation, flirting with Eastern-tinged arrangements, Philip Glass-inspired improvisations, and 70s prog. With 2016’s Sonderlust, K’s work became more intensely personal and artistically adventurous with the help of producer Chris Taylor, engineer Pat Dillet, and drummer Matt Chamberlain.

Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi’s fourth album, and his most important yet. Many of the songs were initially inspired by history and oppression, and he deftly weaves tales of love, loss, and wanting to connect listeners to the past. Channeling the hard-learned lessons of history, Omoiyari is an uncompromising musical statement on the turbulent sociopolitical atmosphere of present-day America, lauded by NPR for its “profound empathy” and the New York Times for its “hand played yet exquisitely polished” qualities.

Over the last several years, K has traveled frequently to Montana and Wyoming to work on a “song film” version of Omoiyari about Japanese internment. It has been an emotional and creatively potent experience for him to spend time in the American West, speaking with internment camp incarcerees and descendents. Considering his own bicultural identity as the child of Japanese immigrants has come to influence Kishi Bashi’s approach to songwriting.

Kishi Bashi’s performance is part of a UGA Presents slate of roots and indie concert. Mexico’s Villalobos Brothers appear at Hodgson Concert Hall Wed., Nov. 2 with an infectious blend of folk, classical and rock styles. Leyla McCalla of the Carolina Chocolate Drops brings her new project about Haiti and radio to Hodgson Jan. 18, 2023. Scottish folk group Breabach comes to Athens Feb. 24, and the season concludes May 13 with bluegrass jam band Yonder Mountain String Band.

For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, click here.

Three Ways to Order Tickets

  1. Purchase tickets online 24/7 online here.
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (706) 542-4400, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center Box Office, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (5 minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)