Besides being in Estradashere, The Fishtank Ensemble, and Secret Chiefs 3, my friend Kevin Kmetz also has a band called "God Of Shamisen", a fusion of Metal and traditional Japanese music!! Kevin is also competing in the "All Japan Tsugaru Shamisen Championship" event in Hirosaki City in May. He will be the first "gaijin" to ever compete in the contest and this is after starting Shamisen in just April 2003! Kevin also appeared on a NHK TV program which features a famous Tsugaru Shamisen player, Yamagami Susumu. Kevin was interviewed and performed live with the master. Kevin is a great guitar player, who I played with extensively @ CalArts and with the JS Bach Experience, and just got tired of playing it and took up shamisen with a vengeance. Checkout his music and buy his CD's.