Oct 4, 2010

Hiraoka Masaaki and Yokohama Jazz Promenade

This Saturday Hikashu will perform at Yokohama Jazz Promenade. Their appearance of the jazz festival is second time. Last time in 2008, and it was realized upon the recommendation by the late Hiraoka Masaaki, a veteran jazz critic, and a long time supporter of the band.

Hiraoka was born in Tokyo in 1941. Engaged in student activism, he dropped out the college (where he majored in Russian literature) and started writing. His first book, entitled "the Tatars Manifesto," was published in 1964. In 1968, he wrote a book "Jazz Manifesto" and went into jazz criticism. Being a charismatic figure , he also had been a high-profile individual as a new-left activist in 1970s.

Basically he had been regarded as a music critic (mainly jazz) but he actually covered a vast genre of culture and show-business in general. In particular, he liked to treat so-called outpost artist and expression. Having been a prolific writer throughout his career, he authored over 120 books.

His connection with Hikashu started in 1981. That year the band released the 3rd album, "Uwasa No Jinrui" [The Human Being]. It was met with harsh criticism by Nakamura Toyo, an influential music critic. Hiraoka strongly disagreed with Nakamura's assertion and spoke very highly of the album. Shortly after that, Hiraoka formed a relationship with the band and even toured together in 1984. In 1990s he moved to Yokohama and engaged in various regional events including Yokohama Jazz Promenade. He passed away with cerebral infarction in 2009.

I saw him in person once. It was the Hikashu's set at Yokohama Jazz Promenade in 2008. He seated in the front row, with his wife, seeing the band performing with smile. He looked pretty contented. I will return to the same venue this weekend, and it will surely bring back the fond memories for me.

October 9, 2010
Yokohama Jazz Promenade
@ Kannai Hall
19:20 - 20:20
advance - 4,000 yen, at door - 5,000 yen (for one day admission of the festival)

YJP Official Site

Kannai Hall Yokohama

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