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Eric Vloeimans

by Sean Smith

Special To The Japan Times

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 like every bar or coffee shop is playing jazz. Most of the time it’s Blue Note-era stuff you hear, that’s nice. So I think there are a lot of jazz lovers here. Yesterday I played for the NHK radio program “The Session,” and they say they have 1 million listeners, which is, I know, less that 1 percent of the population, but still if you reach a million people, that’s a lot. So it is nice to be here.

I hear you’ve got some other engagements while you’re here.

Yeah, yesterday on the radio, and the festival wanted to introduce me to Manu Katché, so I have a rehearsal with him for a concert where I’ll join the band for one piece. I’m a musician, and the nicest thing in my life is to play to a live audience, so it’s great to have the chance to play five times here.

Very different kind of venues, too.

Yeah, I like variety in life. It’s good for me.