Renowned entertainer and fiddler Shoji Tabuchi, his daughter, Christina Lingo-Tabuchi, and wife, Dorothy Tabuchi, will bring their family variety show to Kerrville at The Cailloux Theater for one night only.
The Tabuchi Family, which has dedicated more than 30 years to honing a wholesome performance that includes instrumental music, singing and dancing from a multi-talented cast of entertainers and musicians, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, 910 Main St.
A native of Osaka, Japan, Tabuchi has been acclaimed as one of the greatest entertainers in the world. He began his musical career on the violin at the age of seven through the Suzuki Method, which involves teaching by ear, as students listen to recorded music then try to recreate the sound.
Tabuchi was introduced to American country music while attending St. Andrew’s University, a private school in Osaka, where he earned a degree in economics. While there, he and his friends formed a bluegrass band, The Bluegrass Ramblers, and won two national collegiate band titles. He and a few friends decided to attend a local concert headlined by the legendary Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys. The high point of the evening for him was the late, great Howdy Forrester’s signature rendition of “Listen to the Mockingbird.” The lilting, bird-like quality of this one song was to have a lasting and profound effect on the young Tabuchi, changing the focus of his life.
Tabuchi talked to Acuff following the concert and expressed his enthusiasm.
“If you ever come to the United States, look me up,” Acuff told him.
With these words of encouragement, Tabuchi decided to come to the United States and pursue his dream of playing country music.
Coming to San Francisco, with $500 in his pocket, Tabuchi took any job he could find, from polishing cars to waiting tables in restaurants, to support himself. His greatest challenge was not learning English, but trying to convince club owners he was a country fiddler.
Soon, he joined forces with a Japanese friend to form the band “Osaka Okies.” After performing in many clubs on west coast, Tabuchi journeyed to the Midwest, where a stop in Kansas City landed him is first full-time job, playing at the famous Starlite Club.
After being in the U.S. for only three years, he once again met up with Roy Acuff. At Mr. Acuff’s invitation, Tabuchi found himself appearing at the Ryman Auditorium at the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed for two nights in a row to standing ovations.
Ultimately, Tabuchi played the Grand Ole Opry an impressive 27 times.
Tabuchi next took to the road as a featured performer with David Houston of the hit song “Almost Persuaded” fame. In short order, his name spread.
Tabuchi has performed throughout the world, including in the United States, Belgium, Canada, England, Holland and Scotland. His touring days saw him performing with the likes of Barbara Mandrell, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Mel Tillis, Tammy Wynette and many other stars of the country music world.
It was during Tabuchi’s touring years that he encountered the town of Branson, Missouri. He fell in love with its idyllic setting, its charm, and most importantly, it’s people, according to a press release. In a few years, he went from being a starring headliner on the Branson scene, to building his own 2,000 seat, state-of-the-art theater that sold out multiple times daily for decades.
“Shoji Tabuchi’s warmth and humor touch his fans in a very special and personal way, his wife Dorothy’s impeccable eye for detail, imagination and creativity, along with his daughter Christina’s ability to give 110 percent from her entrance to her final bow, brings thousands to experience The Shoji Tabuchi Show year after year,” states the press release.
Tabuchi’s many television appearances include “60 Minutes,” “To Tell the Truth,” “CBS This Morning,” “Regis and Kathie Lee,” PBS’s “Whad’ ya Know?” with Michael Feldman, as well as “The Statler Brothers Show,” “Nashville Now,” “The Ralph Emery Show” and “Ray Steven’s CabaRay,” just to name a few. He has been recognized in U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Southern Living and numerous other national publications.
Tabuchi has performed for former President George H.W. Bush, former President George W. Bush and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during a White House state dinner.
Tabuchi was nominated two years in a row for “Instrumentalist of The Year” for TNN/Music City News Country Awards. He also was named “Instrumentalist of The Year” four years in a row and “Entertainer of The Year” by the Ozark Music Awards.
He was honored in 2006 as the recipient of the prestigious Missourian Award from the Missouri House and Governor for his contributions to Missouri tourism and his philanthropy throughout the state.
In 2017, Tabuchi was presented a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Branson’s Terry Awards. Tabuchi also has received awards from the Daughters of The American Revolution and the “Foreign Ministers Award” from the Japanese government. He is an honorary board member of The Suzuki Association of The Americas.
Tabuchi is no stranger to Texas. Prior to his rise to fame in Branson, he fiddled his way through many Texas dance halls. According to the press release, he fondly reminisces about playing Western swing, “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” and music by the late, great Bob Wills across the state.
Tabuchi was last in Kerrville for the Kerrville Folk Festival by invitation from the late Rod Kennedy, where he had the privilege to perform with “Mother” Maybelle Carter.
Tickets for Saturday’s show range in price from $41 to $51 and can be purchased by calling 830-896-9393 or visiting https://caillouxtheater.com/2019/the-shoji-tabuchi-show/.
“The Shoji Tabuchi Show takes you on a musical journey filled with exceptional music, brilliant production numbers, spectacular dancing, and outstanding vocals — with wonderful surprises around every corner, showcasing an array of music, including; country, bluegrass, big band, ’50s and ’60s, Cajun, favorites from Broadway and Hollywood, pop, jazz, swing, classical, gospel, patriotic and music from today’s top.” states a press release from Shoji Entertainment Inc.