Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday June 20th 2018


Kishi Bashi: Making the Violin Cool Again

By Jennie McKeon

K Ishibashi—or, Kishi Bashi—is a bit of a multi-tasker. Not only is he on tour with Of Montreal, but he is also the opening act. The singer, violinist and composer has toured with Regina Spektor and Sondre Lerche and is also the singer for the New York City-based synth rock band Jupiter One.

One must wonder if he ever gets tired on his Of Montreal tour.

“Never!” Ishibashi said in an e-mail interview. “The crowd energy keeps me super-amped and motivated.”

Ishibashi has been playing the violin since he was seven; the instrument is the focal point of his music. Kishi Bashi’s Facebook page describes the music as an “epic orchestral solo project” with a “dazzling array of looping and vocal/violin gymnastics.”  It’s definitely an opening act worth getting to the show early for.

“It’s really a solo project that began as an exploration of the violin and its possibilities in the studio,” he said. “In my live show, I’ve purposefully limited myself to the violin and vocals as a way to parallel that idea.”

It’s a good thing he loves traveling, because Kishi Bashi has been touring worldwide for the “past several years.” One stop on his tour will be Istanbul, perhaps the only city he hasn’t been to yet.

“I’m really excited about that,” he said about the uncharted territory.

Anyone heading to the Of Montreal show at the Alabama Music Box in Mobile will get to hear a broad range of music between Kishi Bashi’s one-man violin set and Of Montreal’s theatrical performance.

“I’m influenced tremendously by Of Montreal,” Ishibashi said. “My music is totally different in texture but very similar in sophistication.”

As a touring member, Ishibashi is required to wear the crazy on-stage costumes.

“It’s a big part of the show beyond the music,” he said.

Ishibashi’s favorite part of touring is “performing for lots and lots of people.” And it must be pretty cool to not only open for, but play alongside a musical influence.

“Touring with Of Montreal is the most inspiring experience I’ve ever had,” he said. “The people are truly unique and really down to earth.”

Ishibashi hopes to get the crowd moving at the March 9 show –whether it be dancing, brawling or crowd surfing.

“I hope to see all of that,” he said, adding a smiley face.

WHEN:  8 p.m., Friday, March 9
WHERE:  Alabama Music Box, 455 Dauphin St., Mobile
COST: $16