Over 70 bands from all over Japan submitted video entries to appear in the recent Ikebe Music Grand Prix, sponsored by Epiphone. Though it was a tough decision, to be sure, 11 acts were selected to compete for the Grand Prix. There were several special awards handed out as well and each winner received very special Epiphone guitars, as well as handsome trophies for each category. A wide range of musical taste was represented throughout the night, as the Goodman Theater below the Ikebe Revole store in Akihabara, Tokyo rocked with excitement.
The event finale featured Japan Epiphone artist Takui Nakajima performing live to the delighted crowd, with the help of his Inspired By ’64 Texan.
Our own Dr. Epiphone, a.k.a. Will Jones, helped hand out the trophies and Epiphone prize guitars to the talented winners saying: "I'm blown away at the diverse and promising young and up-and-coming talent we've heard here in Japan tonight. It was a very hard task to select the winners! Our friends at Ikebe have done a great job bringing together all of this talent in one place."
Grand Prix Winner: "Light Heart Thinking" (Epiphone USA 70th Anniversary Commemorative John Lennon Casino Package")
Best Guitarist: "Light Heart Thinking" (Epiphone Limited Edition Elitist Dwight Yoakam "Dwight" Casino Package)
Best Bassist: "Sky Heights Orchestra" (Epiphone Thunderbird Classic-IV Pro Bass)
Best Vocalist: "Mari" (Epiphone Inspired By 1964 Texan)
Best Performer: "The Bunny's" (Epiphone Elitist 1965 Casino)
Special Award: "Blueglue" (Epiphone Inspired By John Lennon Casino Outfit)
Ikebe Award: "Dark Echo" (Ikebe Store Gift Certificate)