akira satake band

akira satake band

Akira Satake first discovered the banjo through his older brother’s Flatt and Scruggs recordings while growing up in Osaka, Japan. After relocating to New York City in his early 20's he spent two decades honing his innovative banjo style in venues from Village clubs to Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He went on to master the shamisen (Japanese banjo) in his own original style, and has made it an important part of his repertory.

Satake garnered international attention with his collection of original compositions, "Cooler Heads Prevail," and shared the 1998 German Music Critics’ Award for Best World Music Recording with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Shawn Colvin, Nancy Griffith, Jim Lauderdale, Hazel Dickens and Tony Trischka, and produced award-winning CDs for Tim O’Brien, Mamadou Diabate, Johnny Cunningham and flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nunez.

American banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka calls Satake, "a brilliant banjoist with a split-level passion for the fiery breakdowns of southern Appalachia and the kaleidoscopic rhythms and melodies of World Music."






Cooler Heads Prevail 

Imagine what the music for the fantasies of a daydreaming world traveler might sound like. Perhaps there'd be a rollicking jig bumping headlong into a crescendo of female Bulgarian vocals. Or a plaintive koto plucked lightly to a tune with a tropical feel. How about Native American chants cascading over a bouncy Irish melody? Now imagine that the music produced by these myriad world rhythms and instruments features the banjo.


John Cunningham - violin and bouzouki
Steve Gorn - bansuri bamboo flutes
Jerry O'Sullivan - uilleann pipes
Glen Velez - frame drum and percussion
E.J. Rodriguez - percussion
Dominic Kanza - guitar
Alfredo Tadaneras - bandoneon
and many others

1. Tail Wag Dog Jig (parts 1 and 2)
2. Nobody's Hat
3. Mr. Fulla Bullets
4. A. I.
5. Basho
6. A Taste of Loomi
7. All Else Pales
8. Atami