It’s not uncommon to find western classical musicians covering pop songs but this is the first time I’ve come across a cover that makes use of traditional Japanese instruments (specifically a bamboo flute and zither known as a shakuhachi and koto respectively). I wouldn’t have thought this would work with a Lady Gaga song and I’m surprised how well the musicians behind Team Kozan pull it off.
What makes this cover even more special is their reason for doing it:
“We Japanese got a lot of help from GAGA 2 years ago for “Japan earthquake”. We never forget gratitude to GAGA. and We wish GAGA complete recovery,and we are waiting for comeback of GAGA.”
I’ve never heard of Team Kozan before but from what I gather browsing their website, the founder Ishikura Kozan is a shakuhachin expert and also offers lessons to those interested in picking up the instrument. Details and more videos can be found on their website: http://www.shaku8kozan.com