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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Youngest professional guitarist Yuto Miyazawa hopes to balance new and old passions

<r most freshmen, “finding balance” during their first year at college entails juggling sleep, school and a social life. Freshman professional guitar player, Yuto Miyazawa, hopes to find balance with more respect: between his professional guitar career and college.

Miyazawa does not know what he plans to major in, but his life will involve guitar in one form or another.

“Forever I will play. Maybe not professionally, I might change that little part. But I have been playing since I was three years old, so I will play until I die,” said Miyazawa.

Miyazawa said he draws inspiration from professionals who have not only mastered the instrument, but have accomplishments in other skills or disciplines.

“I respect Brian May because he is not only a guitar player, but he is also a doctor in astrophysics,” Miyazawa said. “When I was in junior high, I decided that I should do guitar and studying at the same level, because I want to be a professional, and I am, but also I want to be good at studying too.”

Miyazawa’s 15-year guitar career includes playing alongside guitar legends such as Les Paul, Ozzy Osbourne, Inexus and GE Smith, among others.

He first picked up a guitar at the age of three, inspired by both his dad’s guitar playing and his musical taste. Starting with “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,”

Miyazawa slowly made his way through more difficult songs, spending 14 years with the same teacher.

“My dad really liked to play the guitar. I saw him playing when I was two or three years old. I was inspired by my dad and a few bands he listened to—the Beatles, Queen and Kiss. Eventually I learned to play “A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles,” Miyazawa said.

Encouraged by his father, Miyazawa played shows at a local bar in Japan starting at the age of six, where he met his current manager.

Miyazawa first came to the US to play when he was eight years old, appearing on the Ellen Degeneres Show. For Miyazawa’s appearance on her show, DeGeneres arranged a special surprise: she invited Ozzy Osbourne to the studio, allowing the two to meet for the first time.

“I first thought he was a fake,” Miyazawa said. “But the reaction of the audience was to gasp, so I figured out he was real.”

Less than one year later, still at the age of eight, Miyazawa played two concerts with Ozzy Osbourne. Miyazawa said he felt nerves didn’t factor into his performance.

“I just played the guitar and that’s all. The place was new, but that’s all,” Miyazawa said. “I felt like my dream got closer to me, but it has always been a normal thing to play the guitar for me, so if I am focusing on playing the guitar, it doesn’t change really.”

According to Miyazawa, playing alongside Osborne was among his most memorable performances.

“It was like being Randy Rose for a time, so that was a really special thing for me,” Miyazawa said.

Here at Carleton Miyazawa participates in the jazz ensemble, and hopes to eventually start a band.

Miyazawa said many people have helped him throughout his career, but his family remains his greatest support system.

“My family allowed me to do what I wanted to do, so I really need to thank my parents for all my life,” Miyazawa said.

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