Music Zeitgeist presents KAMIDE – Indie Artist of the Month for June 2010


Accordion player takashi KAMIDE is Music Zeitgeist's indie artist of the month for June 2010When he was seven-years-old, takashi Kamide lost his left foot shorty after having been diagnosed with cancer.  By seventeen he had conquered the disease.

Not long after, another illness befell him for which there is no known medical treatment and by all appearances was terminal; he couldn’t eat anything, and lost weight from half of his body. It was another arduous journey to recovery, but as the artist states, what saved him was simply saying “LOVE”.

At that stage in his life, he was angry at everything and everyone, but his mother, father and many friends rallied for him, and never stopped believing he would fully recover, praying for him all the while he was fighting these illnesses. When at last it seemed he had beaten the disease forever, his doctor proclaimed it miraculous.

Now, takashi KAMIDE believes there are many miracles all over the world, and they can be realized readily, when you realize the potency of love.

But there is a parallel story that took place for KAMIDE: that of music. At six years of age, he was diligently practicing classical piano until discovering Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett which eventually led him to switch to jazz piano and subsequently an interest in the accordion. Working from a humble studio in his native Japan, he creates minimalist original masterpieces that evoke everything from Yann Tiersen or Penguin Cafe Orchestra to lost takes from Vangelis’ score from Blade Runner.

Music Zeitgeist chose the artist known as KAMIDE as the June 2010 Indie Artist of the Month, fresh from his debut showcase at Austin’s South By Southwest Music Conference. We had the opportunity to interview him and here is what we got:

Music Zeitgeist: Where in the world are you based?
I live in Japan, in the very beautiful city of Nara near Kyoto.

MZ: What inspired you to take up the accordion?
Because I practiced piano every day when I was young, when I picked up the accordion it felt like it could be a hobby. But when I heard Richard Galliano and Stegan Hussong playing an accordion, I realized it was not just a hobby, but that it had many other possibilities.

In fact, I am not using a standard accordion, but instead something called a “free base system.”

(The old accordion is from the 40’s or 50’s and the buttons are shell, not plastic, that’s why I love it.)

MZ: Listening to your music evokes so many genres, moods and eras not typically associated with traditional accordion music. Who are other influences?

As I mentioned I started really to play the accordion after listening to Richard Galliano and Stefan Hussong, but it was Keith Jarrett that inspired me the most. He plays so many styles of music that he seems like different people, but the emotion he invests is always of the same depth. His music goes into the center of his emotion and then he channels that out to move his audiences. I wanted to attain that same effect, that sound, using the accordion.

MZ: Talk about where and how you go about recording your music?

I recorded all the albums in my private studio using a very old Mac that is about fifteen years old. [smiles] Ironically I use my new Mac book for the internet.

MZ: You played the SXSW festival in Austin in 2010, tell us about your showcase

That was the first time I had ever been to SXSW. It was a fantastic experience for me. I didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare for my show. If I have a chance to do it again I will be more organized for that festival.

MZ: Where will you playing live next?

I play a small cafe in Japan every month. But my larger plans include the release of a new album on September 22nd of this year, and another October 27th. One of them consists of classical solo accordion music the other not only accordion but also piano and many other instruments.  All of the material consists of my original compositions.

Discography and Release Dates

“Solo Solo Accordion” – Release Date: Nov 11, 2009
“My Grandfathers Clock” (EP) – Release Date: Feb 18, 2009
“KAMIDE” – Release Date: Mar 19, 2008

Vital Links

Official Website:
iTunes (opens app)

Listen now to “Pure and Dark” by KAMIDE at’s free Indie Music Jukebox

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