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Tomo Nakayama and Elissa Ball

  • INK Artspace at Spark Center 1214 W Summit Pkwy Spokane, WA, 99201 United States (map)
Tomo Nakayama (Photo: Alicia Palaniuk)

Tomo Nakayama (Photo: Alicia Palaniuk)

Poet Elissa Ball

Poet Elissa Ball



hosted by INK Artspace

Join INK Artspace at our new home, Spark Center (1214 W. Summit Pkwy) for an intimate music experience with Seattle singer/songwriter Tomo Nakayama and local poet Elissa Ball. Part of ticket proceeds will benefit INK Artspace, a non-profit organization supporting arts education in Spokane.

Tickets $15. Limited spots.

Tomo Nakayama is a singer/instrumentalist/songwriter/producer from Seattle, Washington. Known for his crystalline high-tenor voice and intricate chamber folk compositions, Tomo’s music has been praised by NPR, New York Times, and KEXP, drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Elliott Smith, Paul Simon, and Sigur Ros. Fog On The Lens is his first solo album, made after nearly a decade fronting beloved Seattle band Grand Hallway and composing for and acting opposite Ellen Page in Lynn Shelton’s Sundance Grand Jury nominated film “Touchy Feely”. Recorded during a residency at Seattle’s Town Hall, Fog On The Lens was co-produced and mixed by Yuuki Matthews (The Shins, David Bazan) and released by Porchlight Records (U.S.) and & Records (Japan). Tomo and Yuuki played an astounding 14 shows in 1 day throughout Seattle for the record’s release, followed by a successful tour of Japan. Fog On The Lens spent 8 weeks on the CMJ Top 200 and was named “Album of the Month” by Seattle Met. Tomo has also composed music for movies and TV, and performed as a backing-member and collaborated with numerous bands and composers including Sera Cahoone, Gold Leaves, The Moondoggies, The Maldives, Jesse Sykes, Portland Cello Project, and Jherek Bischoff.

Elissa Ball is a writer, performer, and feminist from Yakima, Washington. She currently lives in Spokane. Since 2002 Elissa has been performing poetry on stages, at galleries, in bars, and at house shows. She graduated from Fairhaven College in 2006 with an interdisciplinary concentration titled "Voice: Writing, Literature, and Cultural Diversity." Her poems have appeared in Rivet, Hoarse, and CityArts. Her collection of poetry, The Punks Are Writing Love Songs, was published by Blue Begonia Press in 2012. 


“Without exaggeration, misconception or cliché, Tomo’s singing voice is angelic. It’s boyish in tone, or perhaps womanish, tender, beautiful, clear and strong. All of those things, but the word that feels most apropos is pure.“ - City Arts

 “Tomo Nakayama’s songs on his first solo record, Fog on the Lens, begin as simple seeds. His gracefully delicate coos carry introspective lyrics of love and wistful solidarity which grow as notes stream from his fingers through rapidly fingerpicked guitar strings or slowly depressed piano keys. Then, once they’ve germinated, Yuuki Matthews comes in with bursts of spontaneous chattering synthesized bustle, allowing the songs to fully blossom. It’s digital naturalism that pulsates with life and humanity.” - “Album of the Month” - Seattle Met Magazine

“The most compelling moment is a musical interlude in which Jenny and Paul attend a performance by Tomo Nakayama, the lead singer of the Seattle band Grand Hallway. Delivered by Mr. Nakayama in a plaintive cry as he accompanies himself on guitar, his ballad “Horses” distills the inchoate longings of these likable characters more effectively than any spoken words. “Is it a blessing or a curse to be found?” the lyrics wonder. “Is it a burden or a gift to be bound?” - New York Times

“The cast is superb from top to bottom, though I was particularly moved by a small role played by musician Tomo Nakayama. He wrote the song Horses especially for the film, and as the credits rolled I raced to the Internet to hear it again.” - USA Today

“It was like the most transcendent experience I’ve had in a live music situation.  Literally, at the time, I thought to myself, “That voice in this space has to go into one of my movies.”  So, it’s extremely satisfying that I was able to get him involved, and he turned out to be such a wonderful actor. I mean, he holds his own with Ellen Page.  It’s amazing.” - Lynn Shelton

“He’s a self-assembled human cathedral. He doesn’t need the bells and whistles. He’s one of the lucky ones in that he doesn’t need a band to communicate. He’s transcendent on his own. Some people have a little more ghost in them, that juju that can’t be put into words.” - Jesse Sykes