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Sean Smith

Sean Smith writes the Tokyo Jazz Notes blog, covering new releases and gigs from the jazz, funk and crossover scene. He has lived in Japan since 1997.

For Sean Smith's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

| Mar 11, 2014

New acts see good results off the beaten path

Jazz is a form of music that was born out of live performance, and fans in Japan are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to places to see jazz gigs. With that blessing of choice, however, comes a catch. There’s an argument that ...

| Feb 11, 2014

If it ain't got that swing, it's still jazz

Looking back on 2013, I think some of the strongest jazz releases I heard were from young people in the industry. I know, it’s a bit too far into the new year to be retrospective, but it has led me to consider the possibility ...

Ai Kuwabara tops favorites list for year in jazz

| Dec 10, 2013

Ai Kuwabara tops favorites list for year in jazz

For the final Jazz Notes column of the year I met up with writer, blogger and presenter of InterFM’s “OK Jazz” show James Catchpole to talk about the year in jazz at Eddie’s Lounge in Tokyo’s Arakawa Ward. It’s run by our mutual friend, ...

| Sep 11, 2013


So is this your first trip to Japan? Bassist Nikolai Eilertsen: For me, yes, but the other guys in the band have been before with different outfits. You had a real Hammond B3 on stage. You didn’t ship that over, did you? No, no. ...

| Sep 11, 2013

Eric Vloeimans

This is your first time at Tokyo Jazz Festival, but not your first visit to Japan. What’s your overall impression? Trumpeter Eric Vloeimans: The audience is really enthusiastic and they’re very polite, and you see that jazz music is very popular here. It seems ...

| Sep 11, 2013


Tres-men are made up of percussionist Takahiro “Matzz” Matsuoka, DJ Yoshijiro Sakurai and keyboardist Yusuke Nakamura. Your debut album came out in April, and here we are, five months later at Tokyo Jazz Festival. How did that come about? TM: We got the offer ...