If you’re into cutting-edge instrumental guitar playing, you’re in for a treat! Marcin Patrzałek (commonly referred to as Marcin) and Ichika Nito are both Ibanez signature artists. Marcin’s signature guitar, loosely based on his beloved AE900-NT acoustic, is the Ibanez MRC10, which features Fishman electronics and custom mother-of-pearl inlays.
Ichika Nito’s signature guitar is the Ibanez ICH10 Quest headless model. Speaking about his smoky cream guitar, Nito says “The biggest benefit is probably the light weight. It looks so compact, it’s lighter and easier to handle without a headstock.” In this video, we see Marcin and Nito playing their signature instruments in a beautiful Tokyo house
On his Facebook page, Marcin describes Just the Two of Us as one of his favourite jazz standards. Written by Bill Withers, William Salter, and Ralph MacDonald, the song was first recorded by Grover Washington Jr. with Withers on vocals. The Marcin and Nito arrangement showcases both the characteristics of their guitars and their different playing style. Marcin tends to favour inventive arpeggios augmented by percussive taps while Ichika Nito is known for his fast finger work on the fretboard.
Just the Two of Us is the third acoustic/electric trade off between Marcin and Nito. The first video was titled acoustic vs electric guitar. If it was a duel, it was always going to be a draw. As Matt Owen writes in Guitar World, “Given the extent of visionary playing on display from both sides, we’re not even going to entertain the idea of choosing a winner.” Commenting on Just the Two of Us on YouTube, TrustedHalo says “It’s not a duel anymore, it’s one of the best collabs.” Here is Fall:
Impressive, isn’t it? Marcin and Nito came together through their association with Ibanez, which begs the question, what did they do to get noticed by Ibanez?
Marcin is a 22-year-old Polish guitarist and composer. He started studying classical guitar when he was 10. In 2015, at the age of 15, he won the Polish television talent show Must Be The Music. In the following years, Marcin steadily built his reputation through his social media posts. His videos included canonical classical pieces, notably Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and 5th Symphony, alongside original pieces and pop and rock covers.
Marcin became an official endorser of Ibanez acoustic guitars in 2018. In the same year, he was the winner of Tu Si Que Vales, a very popular Italian television talent show. In 2019, he was a contestant on America’s Got Talent. As more viewers found his social media posts, Marcin started to be acclaimed by music personalities including Tom Morello, Vernon Reid, Paul Stanley and Dweezil Zappa. In 2020, he signed to Sony and, in 2022, Ibanez released Marcin’s signature guitar.
Ichika Nito has been called Japan’s finest young guitarist. His first instrument was the piano, which he practiced for four hours a day. As a student of the piano, Nito was particularly inspired Bill Evans, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Joe Hisaishi. At the age of 15, Nito started playing guitar and bass.
Ichika Nito started posting videos to social media. Initially, he posted a mix of covers and original pieces, but his popularity really took off when he started releasing short videos with quirky titles such as When Nirvana Only Gives You 60 Seconds To Audition & When You See An Epic Anime Battle.
Nito’s taste in music runs from Metalcore to Djent (heavy rock featuring complex rhythms & low-pitched, distorted guitar), Math rock, UK garage and R&B. He has two active music groups, Dios, an R&B-influenced band with singer Tanaka & producer/singer Sasanomaly, and Ichikoro, a jazz-fusion band.
In 2022, Nito co-produced Machine Gun Kelly’s track More Than Life, on which he also contributes his guitar skills.
Ibanez has recently released a second Ichika Nito signature guitar. The ICHI00, a Strat-Tele hybrid, has a Talman head and features Nito-specced pickups (Ichika-S single coil). Hopefully, Marcin and Ichika Nito will release a new collaboration with Nito playing the Ibanez ICHI00.
If you would like to see more from Marcin, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Facebook. If you want to see more from Ichika Nito, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Instagram.