Akira & Node 18
About Us
Akira Otsuka


AKIRA OTSUKA first toured the U.S. with legendary "Bluegrass 45," the first and most influential Japanese Bluegrass band to hit these soils. Since that time, Akira has been acknowledged and honored in both the U.S. and Japan for his outstanding abilities on the mandolin. Highly sought as an accompanist and session player on guitar, banjo and bass as well as mandolin, Akira has shared the stage and recorded with many of the genre's greatest artists, including Emmy Lou Harris, Nils Lofgren, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ricky Skaggs, Bela Fleck, Jethro Burns, Danny Gatton, Hazel Dickens, Bill Kirchen and Peter Rowan.

Akira continues to grow in the innovative tradition for which he has won accolades, in venues as diverse as the White House, the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution. Musical versatility is Akira's hallmark. As composer of many of the tunes on his first solo CD, "First Tear," he tastefully expands musical parameters, while respecting traditional boundaries.



Guitarist BOB WILLIAMS exhibits amazing skills on the acoustic and electric guitars built on varied musical roots.  He has performed Rhythm and Blues with the Peptonz, American folk music with Carey Creed, Bluegrass with the Grass Menagerie, and classic Rock and dance music with Scott Young and Steppin’ Out.  Recently Bob has been writing many original compositions that Node 18 performs live as well as performing together with bassist Roger St Vincent in their band Rock Creek Jazz.

Bob has been a Montessori school teacher in Alexandria, Va for over 25 years, and is an instructor of Montessori school teachers at National Training Centers.  He has years of experience teaching music to students young and old, and can incorporate into his performances historical and musicological information regarding the music and the composers. In Node 18, he reunits with Akira, his long time friend and musical partner from Grass Menagerie days.



Bassist ROGER ST. VINCENT was for many years a trumpet player, performing with Brass Quintets throughout the metropolitan area, including over 10 years as the leader of the Naval Academy Brass Quintet, and several small orchestras.  For the last 25 years, Roger has also played the five-string bass guitar with many area bands, including bluegrass with Honey Suckle Rose, country music with “T-Bone” Tarabour and the Western Philosophers and Southern Nights, classic rock with the Sunshine Watts band, world music with Luci Murphy and Friends and with guitarist Bob Williams in their group Rock Creek Jazz.     Throughout this period, however, jazz of all kinds has permeated his bass playing.  He has performed with many local jazz artists, including trombonist Rhoades Whitehill and the Sam Seymour big band, guitarists Steve Abshire and Rob Winter, saxaphone and vocalist Maureen McCusker, as well as the trumpet-guitar-piano-bass phenomenon Richard Glass.  

All these influences and experiences plus musical interactions with Akira, Bob and Demetrios allow Node 18 to blend into the very unique sound of its own.



DEMETRIOS KAKAVAS was born to a family of musicians and began playing drums at the age of three. In his 35 years of professional drumming Demetrios has played everything from Greek and Turkish folk music to Rock (classic and progressive) and bluegrass to blues and swing to funk and big band to Latin and Jazz.   He has performed with blues/funk band, Current Situation, The Chaz Depaolo Trio blues band, and bluegrass band, The Eastman String Band.  Recently he completed a Greek / Turkish folk CD with extreme odd time signatures of 2/3, 7/8, 9/8 and 13/8. 

Demetrios studied with Dr. Richard Janes and is currently in school working on obtaining a masters degree for teaching.  Demetrios endorses Evans Drumheads.



ANDY MOLLARD - profile coming soon. 




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