21st & Geary
Come Meet Curtis Kamiya... Upon meeting Curtis for the first time, most people are struck with the sense that they could easily sit right down and begin sharing their life story with him. His genuine warmth, facile charm, and utter openness is what certainly drew me in the first time I ever watched him play his guitar and heard his singing. With a strong, melodic voice that still reminds me of young, melancholy James Taylor, I watched him captivate a crowd with his rendition of Don McLean's Vincent. 'Starry, starry night...' That phrase pierced the hearts of all of us sitting near him, again watching his fingers whisper quickly across the strings of his guitar as all eyes began to well and weep just from the tenderness of his voice. I knew right there I had met a true talent. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, much of Curt's love for music and guitar, in particular, came from his island surroundings and from his parents. After watching his father pick and strum his guitar for so many years, Curt was finally rewarded on his 16th birthday when he acquired his own guitar, his first Epiphone that is still stored in our hall closet. His mother was an accomplished singer and encouraged him to learn enough songs to play to a crowd. Over the next few years, Curt soaked up all he could know about the guitar and about the singer/songwriter: he learned The Beatles and Paul Simon and Cat Stevens; he stayed up late on summer nights jamming in the garage, hammering out the lines to the songs of Hawaiian groups like Kalapana and Cecilio & Kapono; he performed at several cafe venues, sometimes performing the 10 songs he new best hoping the customers would leave so he could continue to play to fresh ears; and he entertained at every play, musical, and talent show offered in high school in the hopes that someone would ask him to play again. By the time Curt moved to the mainland to attend university in Tacoma, Washington, Curt knew that the number one love in his life was music. By the time he graduated in 1995, Curt had garnered a dual bachelor's degree in both theater arts and music and was beginning to write music for his own voice. And he met the second love of his life... Curt and I are both musicians so we began to explore what our life would be like if we were to write/sing/play professionally. We packed up all our belongings and moved to San Francisco to see what this beautiful city would have to offer us musically. Curt began gigging and writing fervently. By late 2000, his first CD You Can Close Your Eyes was released and proved to be a true success for Curt. You Can Close Your Eyes showcased Curt's voice and effortless guitar playing, from his velvety cover of a timeless James Taylor tune to the jazzy pickup of When I See You Again. It was clear that the CD also marked Curt's burgeoning talent as a lyricist and arranger. After playing in and around the San Francisco area for two more years, all the while gathering a base of devoted fans, the events surrounding the 9/11 tragedy made us realize that we needed to reconnect with our family and friends. We knew the music would always wait for us. So, we packed right back up and headed North again to finally land in Seattle. New jobs, a new marriage and several years of writing invigorated Curt to release his second CD 21st and geary. Released in late spring of 2005, much of the material on 21st and geary was started in our apartment in San Francisco, through some great times, some heartache, and really showcases Curt's talent as a songwriter. This new CD captures that styles that influences Curt's love for music, from bossa nova to 70's pop to contemporary folk music. Well, that brings us up to now. Thanks for stopping by to learn a little more about Curtis. We hope you like the music. We hope you buy a CD. We hope you come to a show. Sincerely, Annie Kamiya April 2005.