Les Denniston レズリー・デニストン
Leslie Denniston came to Kyoto from Glasgow in 1975 to study kendo. He is still here!
He was probably the first unaccompanied traditional-type singer I ever heard - around 1989 I learned loads of songs from him, here in Kyoto - Jock Stewart, Twa Corbies, and General Taylor among them. Along with Bob Barraza, Les started me off on the bodhran and I got my first and favorite one by sea-mail from Les's maker Eamon Maguire. In the end everyone wanted one and I ordered six - Eamon told my friend "stick with her - she's rich!" (He didn't and I never have been.) The number of people playing Irish music in Kyoto in those days
was pretty small.
Now me and Les do a lot of singing together including Scottish Nights where Hideko (Mrs Denniston) explains the songs and background in Japanese. Les also plays every Saturday night at Hill of Tara in Kyoto (Oike-Kiyamachi) with Taro Kishimoto.
Les is a great interpreter of Robert Burns' poetry - without the book!
More about Les in his own words here (his photos include Akazawa Atsushi, Jay Gregg and John Matthews) or watch this 1983 kendo video of Les on the BBC documentary Way of the Warrior (this link is Part 4; he is actually introduced at the very end of Part 3 - if you can watch that too Part 4 makes more sense)