AK Duo & Friends

by Evan Kory –

Our second concert of the month also featured familiar musicians to SCFPA, husband and wife duo Tomoya Aomori and Julia Kang. This was Tomoya and Julia’s fourth time performing at SCFPA and for this special occasion the AKDuo brought two of their friends with them: jazz pianist Kaori Tanioka and bassist Kuriko Tsugawa.

Kuriko played Christina Wilhelm’s brother Joe LaPlaca’s marvelous bass, which resides full-time at SCFPA. The refreshing program comprised entirely of original compositions by Tomoya was absolutely beautiful. All four musicians played with an effortless flair and their classical-jazz fusion is truly one of a kind. The concert was full of rich sonorous cello music that filled the space and enveloped the audience. Equally talented on percussion, Tomoya extracted incredible subtle sounds from our SCFPA office drum, it was marvelous—we will never look at it the same! An audience member was curious about Tomoya and Julia’s clever titles… Tomoya confessed that in their creative process, he writes the music and Julia always manages to think of a title that suits the character of his pieces after the music has been composed.

What is so moving about AKDuo’s music is that in addition to creating new works from scratch they also take familiar tunes everyone knows and reinvents them. For instance, in their piece titled “Our Memories” Tomoya adapted the famous pomp and circumstance melody by Elgar used in graduation ceremonies and created an incredible jazz version for two cellos, double bass, and piano. We loved hearing Tomoya, Julia, Kuriko, and Kaori and truly hope they’ll visit us again soon!