August Live

Music Jul 24, 2013

August Live

by Natasha Vik

For those people who can't take time off work for any of this month's major music festivals, there are still plenty of options for live music across the country. In particular, this month promises some great gigs for jazz enthusiasts. At the start of the ...

Music | JAZZ NOTES Jul 10, 2013

Nothing beats a Hammond B3

by Sean Smith

This month started with a trip to Cotton Club in Tokyo's Marunouchi district to see the trio Aquapit play a gig to promote their new album "Orange." Before the show even started, something caught my attention: Occupying center stage was a vintage Hammond B3 organ, ...

Music | JAZZ NOTES May 9, 2013

Female jazz acts are the real Cool Japan

by Sean Smith

One of the highlights of my Golden Week this year was a concert by the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Jazz Orchestra at Blue Note in Tokyo. Reuniting her big band for the first time in a decade, Akiyoshi rolled back the clock with a superb ...

Pianist Onishi to come out of retirement

Music May 2, 2013

Pianist Onishi to come out of retirement

by Shaun McKenna

Pianist Junko Onishi will come out of retirement to perform one more time, at the finale of this year's Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. According to a statement released Friday, the 46-year-old musician was convinced to come back to the stage by overtures ...

The first lady of Japanese jazz comes home

Music Apr 25, 2013

The first lady of Japanese jazz comes home

by Sean Smith

For Japanese jazz musicians these days, going to the United States to further mastery of the genre is a much-pursued rite of passage. This route has enabled a number of acts to gain international recognition and success.