Coming out of winter lineups are beginning to be announced for the many summer festivals, but music is always in the air and next week those sounds will be jazz.
Jazz Week Tokyo will be held at Tokyu Theatre Orb in the Shibuya district’s Hikarie building March 22-27. It will feature six jazz acts from both Japan and abroad.
One of the groups making the trip to Japan is Pink Martini, an Oregon-based multigenre orchestra that started up in 1994. The 12-member orchestra is led by pianist Thomas Lauderdale, and the group has sold more than 2 million albums worldwide.
Joining Pink Martini will be celebrated Japanese singer Saori Yuki. The two camps became popular here after collaborating on an album titled “1969″ in 2011. Lauderdale discovered Yuki’s debut album at a used-record store and says he was impressed by her singing so Pink Martini recorded one of her songs for their 2007 album. Their 2011 joint effort was released in 20 countries.
Another group playing at the event will be the Wayne Shorter Quartet. Shorter, an 80-year-old from New Jersey, is a saxophonist and composer. In 1964, he joined a quintet with Miles Davis, one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century. Shorter has also played with musician Herbie Hancock.
Jazz Week Tokyo will feature a few different styles. At the Naruyoshi Kikuchi and Pepe Tormento Azcarar show, vocalist/saxophonist Kikuchi will perform with a group playing bandoneon, harp, piano, bass and percussion.
Other performing artists at the event include Aki Yashiro with trumpeter Terumasa Hino, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, and Brazilian act Egbernto & Alexandre Gismonti.
Jazz Week Tokyo takes place at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, from March 22-27. Ticket prices vary between ¥6,000 and ¥8,000 depending on the artist. For more information, call Sunrise Promotion Tokyo at 0570-00-3337 or visit www.jazzweektokyo.com (in Japanese).