• Kyodo


A jazz band has honored the memory of nine motorists who died two years ago when part of a road tunnel collapsed, crushing vehicles.

“Jazz Market,” a band from Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, played a tribute concert Tuesday in the city to mark the second anniversary of the tragedy in which concrete panels fell from the ceiling of the Chuo Expressway’s Sasago Tunnel, which is in the prefecture.

The victim included Rei Matsumoto, 28, of Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, who loved jazz.

Matsumoto’s parents were in the audience. They and others brought flowers and offered prayers for the victims.

The concert was the idea of band frontman Toru Ozawa, 66, who read in a newspaper that Matsumoto had loved jazz.

While at college, Matsumoto had played alto saxophone in a band. After graduating from Oita University, she moved to Tokyo and found work as a sound technician.

Her tombstone features an engraving of a music-score motif from one of her favorite numbers.

The band’s set comprised seven pieces including a couple of Matsumoto’s favorite numbers. One was a cheerful piece composed by Ozawa, entitled “You are not alone.”

“I’m glad I had a chance to listen to music my girl liked so much,” said Rei’s mother, Kazuyo Matsumoto, 63.

Her father, Kunio, also 63, said: “It reminded me of the time when my daughter played saxophone.

“I just hope that even from afar, in heaven, she and her friends will enjoy the music.”

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