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Frank Spignese
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Mar 5, 2020
David Coverdale: A hard rock god sings the blues
Former Deep Purple and current Whitesnake vocalist David Coverdale says he won't be giving up on the music any time soon.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Feb 6, 2020
Tortoise: The band that pushed back against Gen-X apathy
Quirky Chicago band Tortoise heads to Japan for a three-day six-show appearance in Tokyo, playing a classic album in full along with a 'greatest hits' set.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Dec 5, 2019
Steve Gadd: Drummer still 'laying it down,' 50 years on
Ahead of his band's tour of Japan, Steve Gadd discusses a career drumming for the likes of James Brown, Eric Clapton and Steely Dan.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Aug 29, 2019
Charles Lloyd: 'Looking for the one note that can say it all'
Few musicians in any era, in any genre, have had such lengthy and varied creative journeys as saxophonist Charles Lloyd. The longevity of his 60-year career is honorable enough, but the unpredictability of his path and the ebb and flow of his musical ideas make him almost unequaled, in jazz. He's like...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 1, 2016
WorldService Project set to shake up Tokyo Jazz Festival
The Tokyo Jazz Festival is a varied event, featuring artists of every age and from all corners of the globe. Yet, like most mainstream jazz festivals, the lineups can be somewhat middle of the road, inoffensively safe in a way that keeps more underground acts outside the castle walls.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 1, 2016
Tokyo Jazz Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary with an ensemble of top-notch musicians
Tokyo Jazz Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and its lineup is a healthy mix of up-and-coming artists and giants of the genre.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 3, 2015
Jazz pioneer Bob James' Japan-inspired concerto to premiere at the Tokyo Jazz Festival
Smooth jazz pioneer and inadvertent godfather of hip-hop break-beats, Bob James is about to add another accolade to his list of accomplishments. At this weekend's 14th Tokyo Jazz Festival, the keyboardist will debut his first piano concerto.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Sep 3, 2015
Tokyo Jazz Festival to provide a glimpse into Esperanza Spalding's alter ego
One of the few younger non-Japanese acts gracing the stage at this weekend's Tokyo Jazz Festival is singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding. Though appearing at the city's main jazz event, the multifaceted 30-year-old musician could just as easily be performing at Fuji Rock Festival or Summer Sonic. Truly...
CULTURE / Music / JAZZ NOTES
Feb 17, 2015
In praise of Michiyo Yagi: Keeping the koto contemporary
Koto player Michiyo Yagi is a national treasure like no other. Why she isn't the most famous musician in all of Japan blows my feeble mind.
CULTURE / Music / JAZZ NOTES
Jan 22, 2015
Tokyo jazz landmark Pit Inn celebrates 50 years
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Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Jan 22, 2015
Makoto Ozone set to step out with his other family
During his years in New York, pianist Makoto Ozone fronted a number of small combos and gigged with such heavyweights as Branford Marsalis, Gary Burton and Christian McBride. But the collaborators he has come back to time and time again are his Japan-based big band, No Name Horses.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Oct 7, 2014
Vibraphonist Locke to hit all the right notes
The vibraphone is one of the more unique instruments to infiltrate jazz. A holy mash-up of the piano and the percussive, it's the duck-billed platypus of musical instrumentation. In terms of cool, it's unfairly lodged somewhere between the tuba and the clarinet. Its old-school practitioners now exude...

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