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Longtime Branson performer Shoji Tabuchi dies at 79

Longtime Branson performer Shoji Tabuchi has died at age 79.

Tabuchi was a recipient of the National Fiddle Hall of Fame.

The performer died after a fight with cancer.

Born in Japan, Tabuchi began playing violin in his childhood and became fascinated by Bluegrass music after seeing a performance by Roy Acuff in Osaka.

He later moved to the United States to establish a career in Bluegrass music and performing.

In Nashville, Tabuchi played with Acuff and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.

In the 1980s, he became a fixture in the Branson music scene.

His career rose to another level with the opening of his own theater in the city in the early 1990s. Branson was experiencing a major growth spurt at the time and Tabuchi was in the middle of it.  His Shoji Tabuchi Show featured his wife Dorothy and stepdaughter Christina.

He worked in Nashville with Acuff. He even appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Tabuchi came to Branson in the early 1980s. He began performing regularly at the Starlite Theatre with its owner Chisai Childs. His mastery of the fiddle made him a star around the Branson music scene.

A fire damaged in the theater in 2017, forcing him to close it. He reopened a year later.

In 2020, The National Fiddler Hall of Fame, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, inducted Tabuchi as a member  He joined the ranks of past National Fiddler Hall of Fame inductees Roy Acuff, Charlie Daniels, and Bob Wills, among many other entertainment greats.

He returned to performing in 2022 at the Little Opry Theatre in Branson.

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