Asian Elephants

Guitar God Kyoji Yamamoto Makes New York City Debut

He has a resume that many musicians would sell their souls for. He has over 30 albums to his name, produced by luminaries such as Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Pink Floyd). With his bands BowWow and Vow Wow, he has appeared at the prestigious Reading and Montreux festivals and headlined Tokyo’s famed Budokan. His name is Kyoji Yamamoto, and he is quite possibly the finest guitar player you have never heard of.

Until now.

N.Y.’s City Boy Records is proud to announce ‘Voyager on Broadway,’ the Japanese guitar god’s first appearance in the U.S. since 1978 and his first ever solo appearance in North America. On Saturday, September 24, 2011, Kyoji will perform two shows at Klub 45 in midtown Manhattan. Kyoji’s trademark blistering, soulful guitar work has drawn praise from such industry contemporaries as Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns ‘n’ Roses) and John Wetton (Asia, King Crimson, Uriah Heep).

Voyager is the guitarist’s debut release from City Boy Records.

Appearing with Kyoji will be Karl Wilcox, drummer for legendary Brit heavy metal band Diamond Head, fresh from appearances with Metallica and Megadeth at the Big 4 shows in Europe, the Heavy TO and MTL festivals in Canada and Diamond Head’s own headlining U.S. summer tour.

“I am truly excited to showcase my solo material for an American audience and New York specifically,” says Kyoji. “I will take you all to a different dimension of the instrumental guitar world!”


Ronnie James Dio Stand Up& Shout Cancer Fund Teams With Asian Elephant Art project

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Weiss/W3

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund has teamed with The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) to create one-of-a-kind guitars painted by the project’s elephants in Thailand to raise money and awareness for both organizations. Wendy Dio, president and founder of Stand Up & Shout, board chair Gloria Butler and medical director Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, along with legendary Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell bassist Geezer Butler and world-renowned photographer Mark Weiss, are currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, home to the AEACP, where the guitars are being painted.

The talented elephants of the Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project, whose paintings are now exhibited and sold in museums and galleries around the world and have been featured in National Geographic, are painting guitars graciously donated by The ESP Guitar Company. These painted guitars will be auctioned off with half of the proceeds going to AEACP and the other half going to SUAS.

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Weiss/W3

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a privately funded nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education. It was founded in memory of the late singer who died in 2010. The organization is collecting additional guitars donated by celebrated musicians for a larger fund-raising auction later this year.

The AEACP is dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian Elephants and to raise public awareness of the plight of Asian Elephants. National Thai Elephant Day annually celebrates the importance of elephants a part of Thai culture and as part of their environment. Currently, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 elephants living in Thailand, half of which are domesticated.