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What is Zabadak?

A hit song from the 1960s? No, though that is where they got their name from. An asteroid discovered in 1994 in Japan? No, though those astronomers did provide us with an elegant little description:

"Zabadak is a name of a Japanese music group that is led by Tomohiko Kira. Their music encourages respect for all creatures in the biosphere and gives thanks for our planet, creating a feeling of joy through their performance."

To put it simply, the Zabadak this site is about is a Japanese band formed in 1985 that has continued to produce music in various forms to this day. They're best known for the strong Celtic influence in their music, though their body of work has also run the gamut from pop, rock, progressive, new age, and various ethnic & traditional styles. One of the defining features of their sound is the mix of male and female vocals, and the signature use of instruments such as the violin, accordion, marimba and recorder alongside the traditional guitar, base and drums. You'll often see them mentioned aside & compared to fellow musicians and friends Akino Arai, Karak and Yasunori Mitsuda, among others.

(but don't take my word for it, listen to them yourself here!)

In 1987, Katsushi Matsuda left the band. Then in 1993, following the noren wake concert, Yoko Ueno left to pursue her own solo works. Tomohiko Kira continues the band as a solo act to this day, with various guest artists - including his wife & ex-Karak vocalist Koko Komine, who contributes a large portion of the female vocals to their albums.

While they've never had any mega-hits to their name, the individual members have contributed music to a number of popular movies, anime, games and other media. Kira is a long-time producer of music for the theater company Caramelbox, has written theme songs for anime such as 12 Kingdoms and Spice and Wolf, and is frequent performer on Yasunori Mitsuda's game soundtracks. Ueno has frequently appeared on other artist's albums such as Asturias, Ayuo, and Vita Nova. In 2002-2003 she formed the group Oranges & Lemons with Masumi Ito to produce themes for Azumanga Daioh, Scrapped Princess and Haibane Reimei. She's also contributed to numerous other soundtracks such as Fushigi Yuugi, Brigadoon, Suikoden, .hack, and even composed the score for a Gamera movie.

(this is getting long, so check out a more comprehensive list at the discography!)

Who is Zabadak?

Tomohiko Kira (吉良知彦)
Member: 1985-current
Position: Vocals, Guitar, Bouzouki, Bass, Mandolin, Piano, Keyboard

Yoko Ueno (上野洋子)
Member: 1985-1993
Position: Vocals, Accordian, Tin Whistle, Keyboard, Programming

Katsushi Matsuda (松田克志)
Member: 1985-1987
Position: Drums

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