• SHARE

When Luis Valle first came to Tokyo four years ago, he had a hard time. At his first trumpet sessions, he was hitting those way-high notes and his solos were hard and fast, but reading the jazz charts was something else.

In Cuba, where Valle grew up, musicians learn to play together by listening to each other and practicing. But in Tokyo, because of the expense and difficulty of scheduling rehearsals, Japanese jazz musicians have to rely on their ability to sight-read quickly. Right before a gig, they get that night’s written charts, divide up the solos, smoke a cigarette and play. In Cuba, musicians might practice and rehearse all afternoon.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW