Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
15 Mar, Fri, 7.30pm
Esplanade Concert Hall
$40*, $60**, $80
Limited concessions for students, NSFs and senior citizens: $25*, $45**
Exclusive savings for Mosaic Friends and other packages available
"Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra are legendary, essential, and flawless. They don't make mistakes. They are a robot of skank sent from the future to teach us how to get down. Ten lions, one god. Ska music." – Punknews.org
Rooted in exuberant instrumental ska, the music of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra channels jazz, rock, pop, surf and movies with flamboyant horns, relentless drums, dizzying surf guitar and a mega dose of love and humour.
About 25 years ago, a couple of kids met at a Tokyo record shop and bonded over a Gaz Mayall ska cassette tape. They quickly began experimenting with creating their own version of the Jamaican dance music, throwing into the genre all the other things they liked – rock, punk, jazz, surf, pop, the party vibe and mad antics.
Those same kids officially formed Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra (TSPO) in 1988. Their style of ska music was different from anything else on the market, and they made waves when they first appeared on the underground scene, playing on the streets and in the clubs of Tokyo. Their debut album, Ska Para Tou-jou (1990) became a runaway success and their unique Tokyo-ska sound soon earned them a growing and fervent cult fanbase.
Now fondly known as Skapara by fans, TSPO has become one of the most influential and respected bands in Japan and the global ska music scene. Its massive repertoire of 17 studio albums, 35 singles and many DVD, compilations, soundtracks, members' side projects, countless TV appearances and multiple collaborations with some of Japan's biggest names in music also makes it one of the most prolific.
With six members from the original TSPO lineup (following the untimely deaths of two original members, the departure of founder and bandleader Asa-Chang and the recent departure of frontman and agitator Tatsuyuki Hiyamuta to recover from injuries sustained in a motocycle accident), TSPO has played to packed audiences in Japan, Europe, USA and other parts of Asia in more than 1,000 live performances including concerts and music festivals such as Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Montreux Jazz and Bonnaroo.
Rooted in a core ska sound, TSPO plays both original songs and interpretations of well-known songs like Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood and Love Theme from The Godfather with heart, exuberance and imagination.
Fans and critics have raved about their albums and called them a fantastic live act. In this second concert at Singapore's Mosaic Music Festival (the first, in 2007, drew a screaming, happily skanking crowd), expect nothing less than high-energy, high-octane ska madness.
(1hr 15mins, no intermission)