Apr 28, 2016

This year's Jazz Art Sengawa is held on September 16-18

It's just announced that the date of this year's Jazz Art Sengawa has been set on september 16-18.

Produced by three outstanding musicians, Makigami Koichi, Sakamoto Hiromichi and Fujiwara Kiyoto, the annual festival for advanced pop, avant jazz and improvised music is artist-led and supported by the city of Chofu, the west suburb of Tokyo.

It started in 2008 so this year's is the 9th. It's a sort of miracle that such a bold and ambitious attempt has been continued this long.

Right now there is no information about the line-up but we'll let you know when it's available. All we can tell you is that this event is one of the best in this country and if you are interested in unusual but utterly interesting expression of music you must see this thing. It's convenient (15 minutes from central Tokyo by train), economic (quite affordable 3-day ticket available), and interesting (many bright acts including Hikashu). They're always up to our expectations and we're sure this time's no exception so make a mark on your calender not to miss it.

Apr 18, 2016

Sato Masaharu contributed soundtrack for NHK documentary

Sato Masaharu, Hikashu's drummer, recently contributed soundtrack for documentary program by NHK, Japanese public broadcaster. It has three parts and the first one just aired in Japan.

The program is about Amazon, the huge river in Brazil.

Unfortunately, it's only aired in Japan but the summary is available on net. Even it captured the moment Sato recording the soundtrack. You can listen excerpts as well.

The line-up for the soundtrack is Sato (percussion, voice), Ohta Keisuke (electric violin), and Hosoi Yutaka (synthesizer). As you might know, it's MASSA, the trio Sato has been leading for about last ten years. But there's a huge difference - it's all improvised, while MASSA's music is basically composed.

According to the clip, they went into studio shortly after watching the film, then just started performing. There's no written score or prior discussion. Sato said the film was impressive and made him inspired. The result is satisfactory.

Sato tweeted that the soundtrack will be released as CD. We will let you know when it's available.

A Grande Amazonia - NHK-TV

Sato and Matsuda Ryuhei, an actor who narrated the program

Mixdown at the NHK studio

Apr 13, 2016

Makigami / Smulovitz / Hirabayashi "Seikatsu" in Vancouver Canada on May 15, 2016

In May, Makigami Koichi goes to Vancouver for improvised performance with two outstanding artists.

Please join us for an exciting evening of improvised music and dance featuring musicians Makigami Koichi and Stefan Smulovitz and dancer Jay Hirabayashi. The evening will begin with a solo set by Makigami; Smulovitz and Hirabayashi will then join him for a trio to end the night.

15 May 2016 - 15 May 2016, 8:00pm
Studio D, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings, Vancouver V6B 1H4

See here for details:

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver B.C. Canada