Japanese singer-songwriter Ken Hirai added two dates in New York City this summer as a part of the series of performances celebrating the 20th anniversary of his popular acoustic concert series Ken’s Bar.
The first Ken’s Bar concert took place on May 29, 1998 at ON AIR Okubo Plus, a tiny club in Tokyo with a capacity of about 50. The concept of the show was to perform stripped-down acoustic versions of Hirai’s own numbers along with covers of his favorite Japanese and Western songs in an intimate setting.
The concerts gained popularity and gradually evolved into a series held in various cities around Japan. It also expanded in scale over the years from its beginnings in clubs to halls, arenas, domes, and outdoor concerts, attracting a wider audience outside of his usual fanbase.
The 46-year-old singer kicked off the anniversary year with two concerts called Ken's Bar 20th Anniversary Special!! Vol.1 on May 29 and 30 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall. He’ll hit New York for the first time in eight years on Aug. 27 and 28 for Vol. 2 of the acoustic concert series at Sony Hall.