Jazz is always progressing. When the first jazz cafes began appearing in Yokohama around 100 years ago, nobody could have imagined the world they’d be a part of. Bebop and blues, tap dancers and turntables — the essential ingredients of the genre have evolved, and that is the main focus of the Tokyo Jazz Festival.

“Our goal is to go beyond borders, beyond generations,” Atsuko Yashima tells The Japan Times. Yashima is a senior producer at NHK Enterprises and the brains behind the festival. “We want to introduce and pass on the heritage of jazz, but also bring in musicians who are taking risks and exploring new areas and collaborations.”

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