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OSAKA (Kyodo) A jazz-crazed graphic designer is trying to boost cultural activities related to the music in Osaka and its vicinity, publishing a free magazine and providing detailed information on his Web site.

Takao Fujioka also has his own studio in Osaka dealing exclusively with jazz-related works and an independent label to release jazz CDs in the Kansai region.

But Fujioka is a newcomer among jazz fans as it was only a few years ago the 30-year-old became interested in the music after listening to the sounds of electric trumpets by Miles Davis and Pat Metheny’s guitars.

“I was also impressed with record covers in the 1950s and 1960s, especially those of the Blue Note label,” Fujioka said.

When Fujioka, an Osaka Prefecture native, wanted to go to jazz clubs, he found information about the Kansai jazz scene very limited.

After starting to present the information about clubs and jazz musicians he personally collected on his Web site, Jazzyanen Kansai, Fujioka realized he was not the only one who was thirsty for such information. The Web site’s name means “It’s jazz” in the Kansai dialect.

“The number of hits on my Web site was much larger than I expected. I thought there were many people who were craving jazz information,” Fujioka said.

On April 1, Fujioka started to distribute 7,000 copies of the monthly magazine Way Out West at jazz clubs, CD shops and music stores free of charge in the Kansai region.

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