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.”
Originally from the mountains of Virginia, Anya Hinkle has developed as a notable songwriter for her Asheville-based “Appalachiacana” band Tellico. Her music has been featured alongside some of the most outstanding contemporary Americana artists on stages from MerleFest and Bristol Rhythm & Roots to the Bluebird Cafe and the Station Inn.
Hinkle recorded her first solo studio album, Forsaken Winds, in 2016, featuring her intimate, tenacious vocals and original songs, and has been performing in the US and Japan in support of the new album in 2017 when not touring with Tellico.
“I knew from the first moment I heard Anya sing that I had found the voice I craved to hear once again–a voice that is both unique yet beautiful, with a truly authentic quality. ”
— Dennis Brunnenmeyer, KVMR FM, Nevada City Limits, Nevada City CA