Shohei Toyoda Wins "Japan's
We are so proud of young Shohei Toyoda for all that he's accomplished since his graduation from Berklee School of Music in Boston just a few years ago: placing in the top 5 at the prestigious International Finger-style Championship in Kansas, winning the difficult International Thumb-picking Contest in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky - and, now - winner of his home land's (Japan) National Thumbpickin' Guitar Contest. This guitarist has no boundaries.It seems just like yesterday that a young guitarist who had just graduated from Berklee School of Music (Jazz Guitar) started showing up at our Tuesday Night Club Jams back when we were still playing every week at Scotties Coffee House here in Worthington, OH. Happens that his last semester at Berklee was Guy VanDuser's first semester teaching "finger style guitar" there - which turned young Shohei Toyoda's musical life around. After four years of intensive jazz guitar education he found that his heart just wasn't into it. Guy gave him another passion. And, man, has he run with it!
After he got his feet on the ground around the Columbus, Ohio area - developing quite a nice following at his "coffee house" gigs and being a part of several of our OFGC produced guitar concerts - he dug for a wider audience by participating in a couple International guitar contests here in the US - placing in the top five in Winfield, Kansas and winning the Home of the Legends contest in Muhlenberg Country, Kentucky. Now, back in his homeland of Japan he has competed and WON Japan's "National Fingerpickin' Contest"!! This doesn't come as a big shock to me - as I taught him BOTH of my licks... (LOL)