Will Lee was born into a musical family Texas in 1952, and is now a renowned American bassist/musician. He enjoyed playing for a band as a teenager, and majored on French Horn and Bass at University of Miami.
Lee’s career soared after graduation, when he was invited to Randy Brecker’s audition. Since then, he has performed together with outstanding jazz and pop recording artists such as Frank Sinatra, David Sanborn, Steely Dan.
Will Lee became famous in Japan as a part of “The 24th Street Band” in the early 1980s, and has collaborated with leading artists such as Sadao Watanabe, Akiko Yano and SMAP. His solo CD entitled “OH!” reached #1 on the “Jazz Beyond” chart in Japan.
Will Lee is ready to captivate people as the music director in the EAST MEETS WEST event.
Sam Moore is an American vocalist who used to belong to the world-famous soul and R&B group Sam & Dave. Their best-remembered song "Soul Man" hit both the R&B and pop charts.
The band sold more than a million copies worldwide, and also became the inspiration for "The Blues Brothers" by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.
Sting, Elton John, Billy Joel, David Gilmour, Phil Collins and many other artists have collaborated with Sam Moore.
In 1992, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame (for "Soul Man"), earned the ETAM "Living Legend" Award, awarded a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and received the coveted NARAS Heroes Award.
Born in 1945, Randy Brecker is an American trumpeter and a flugelhornist. He started playing the trumpet when he was in college and moved to New York in 1966. He ventured into the band "Blood, Sweat & Tears" led by Al Kooper but only for a short while.
Brecker performed live with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Art Blakey Jr. He has also played for one of the prominent jazz rock bands "Dreams" and jazz fusion group "The Eleventh House" led by Larry Coryell.
In 1974, Brecker and his brother Michael Brecker formed the "Brecker Brothers" and received the Grammy Award in 1995.
Randy Brecker's versatility makes him one of the best trumpeters in the world. He also recorded with musicians including Jaco Pastorius, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan.
Mike Stern was born in Boston in 1953, and went to the Berklee College of Music where he met John Scofield and Bill Frisell. Contemporary jazz guitar fans acknowledge the musician as one of the legends. His music could be categorized as Bepop music and Blues, but at the same time has a taste of Rock.
Stern became famous in the early 1980s when he joined Miles Davis before flying solo. He has been nominated for the Grammy award for 17 works — including “Is What It Is” (1994), “Between The Lines” (1996), “Voices” (2001), “Big Neighborhood” (2009) — in his entire life. He has worked together with preeminent trumpeters such as Randy Brecker and Wallace Roney, saxophonist Bob Franceschini and Bill Evans.
After he released his debut album “Neesh” in Japan in 1985, he was chosen as the best guitarist in the magazine “Guitar Player” in 1993 with his “Standard” and other songs. He received the magazine’s “Certified Legend Award” in 2012.
He joined the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2007 and received the Miles David Award, given to those who are considered to have devoted to the innovation of jazz.
Italian native Ada Rovatti is a saxophonist who started playing the piano at the age of four. She started playing the saxophone in high school after years of classical piano training. She toured around Europe and Africa after she graduated the renowned Berklee College of Music, and then moved to New York to pursue her career.
She gained famed with the album “Under the Hat” in 2003 and has performed with various influential artists including Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Mike Stern and Randy Brecker. She has played in outstanding festivals such as JVC in NYC Rochester Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Fest and Montreal Jazz Fest. Her ability to play diverse music — from straight-ahead jazz to fusion — makes her one of the most gifted saxophonists in the world.
Chris Parker is an American jazz drummer who hails from Chicago. He started playing the drums at age three and had his first experience with professionals when he was 11 years old. He became a rising star in the 1970s after he moved to New York and was one of the core members of the American jazz-funk band “Stuff”.
Chris Parker performed with various artists including Bob Dylan, Brecker Brothers, Natalie Cole, Donald Fagen, James Brown and Ivan Lins. His collaboration with Miles Davis for “The Man With The Horn” made Chris a promising figure in the music industry.
In Japan, Parker is famous as the former member of “Stuff” and his performance in recent years with Will Lee and Akiko Yano.
Jeff Young was born in California, and became acclaimed in the Gospel field in the 1980s. He later joined Donald Fagen’s “The New York Rock and Soul Revue”. Young is now one of the most important session musicians who has collaborated with artists such as Jackson Browne, Sting and Bruce Springsteen.
He is a talented technician who can manipulate various keyboard instruments including Rhodes pianos and Hammond organs.
Aaron Heick is a saxophonist who plays for the prodigious Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona’s band. The fact that Heick joined Bona’s first through fourth albums shows that Bona relies greatly on Heick. He worked with Chaka Khan for more than 8 years, and now is a prominent session musician that is sought-after by many legendary musicians.
Nir Felder is a New York native jazz guitarist and songwriter who graduated the Berklee College of Music.
He has worked with artists worldwide including Greg Osby, Esperanza Spalding, Jack DeJohnette, Meshell Ndegeocello, Barney Mcall, Gian Slater and the jazz ensemble “Silent Running”.
In 2013, he made a tribute performance for Dexter Gordon in the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 2014, he released his first album as a leader “Golden Age”. Felder has joined many other works as a sideman.
Akiko Yano recorded her debut album “JAPANESE GIRL” in 1976.
She began collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra since for various sessions and recordings. Rei Harakami and Hiromi (Hiromi Uehara) are only some of the artists Yano has worked with.
In November 2016, Yano released her all-time-best album “Yano Sanmyaku” — which includes songs from various labels and agencies she had belonged to — marking her 40th anniversary of going solo.
In 2017, she unveiled her LIVE album “Ramen Na Onnatachi: Live In Tokyo” and made overwhelming piano sessions around the nation. In November, she publicized “Soft Landing” — her first album in seven years where she sings with the piano. In the same year in her annual “Sato Gaeru Concert”, she also sang solo with the piano for the first time in ten years.
She performed together with various artists for her album “Futari Bocchi De Ikou” that was released in November 2018.
Terumasa Hino is considered one of Japan’s finest jazz trumpeters and was born on October 25, 1942.
He started playing the trumpet at age nine, and by age 13 he was performing for a dance band in the U.S. base. After he released his first album as a leader in 1967, he gained so much attention from the media that he had set a “Hinoteru” trend. He toured and performed in and out of Japan, and appeared in covers of various magazines.
He performed with many musicians after he moved to New York in 1975. Hino released countless successful albums and acted in many TV commercials.
In 1989, Hino became the first Japanese artist to sign a contract with the renown American jazz record label “Blue Note Records”. The artist started to perform more in Asian countries after the 1990s in the hope of “unifying Asia”, which is his dream.
Hino was awarded the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2001, Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004, the Agency for Cultural Affairs Art Festival “Best Record Award” and Mainichi Film Awards “Music Award”.
In recent years, the versatile artist has engaged in many charity concerts and has been eager to educate the younger generation. Embracing his artistic flair, Hino made private exhibitions and published a collection of paintings. Hino is truly a one-of-a-kind artist blessed with great talent.
Kazumi Watanabe is not only one of the top jazz guitarists in Japan but also a composer. He released his impressive first album when he was 17, and has been acknowledged as a prodigious and leading guitarist since then. The rather-fast instrumental music he composes are cutting-edge and enthralling. He is the genius of improvisation and mixing different skills — the rich and expressive sound he creates is famous as the distinct “Kazumi Sound”.
His album “Guitar is Beautiful KW45” marking the 45th anniversary of his guitarist career received the 29th Music Pen Club Music Award in “Popular Music”. He collaborated with STRINGS for his newest work “Tokyo Wanderer”.
Watanabe now teaches a jazz course in Senzoku Gakuen as a visiting professor.
Ryota Fujimaki is a Yamanashi-native artist who was born in 1980. He formed the Japanese rock band “Remioromen” in 2000 with his classmates. They made their major debut in 2003, and became famous nationwide with songs such as “March 9th” and “Konayuki”.
Fujimaki went solo in February 2012 and released his solo single “Hikari wo Atsumete”, and his first solo album “Ookami Seinen”.
Music is not the only talent this one has. He published his first photo album “Sightlines” in 2016 and had a photo exhibition. He continues working solo and made his second album “Hibi Kore Kounichi” in 2016, his 3rd album “Hokkyokusei” in 2017 and released his “Ryota Fujimaki Polestar Tour 2017 Final at Tokyo” concert DVD on April 25th 2018. On October 7th 2018, he organized his first original music festival “Mt. FUJIMAKI” in Yamanakako Communication Plaza KIRARA.
Ai Kuwabara, born in 1991, is a jazz pianist who graduated from the Music Department at Senzoku Gakuen High School as a jazz piano major in 2010. She’s made 7 albums until today and received many awards including JAZZ JAPAN AWARD 2013 Album of the Year, the 26th Music Pen Club Music Award and JAPAN TIMES Best Album of the First Half Year. She’s performed in places such as Montreux Jazz Festival and Tokyo JAZZ, and toured in West Coast of the United States. Kuwabara released an album in 2017 together with Steve Gadd and Will Lee and toured in Japan with the same group. The album she “Dear Family” she released in November included a song she wrote for “Saturday Station”, a news program by TV Asahi which is one of the biggest TV stations in Japan.
Kuwabara has collaborated with pop culture in Japan too, including “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt” and “Splatoon 2” by Nintendo. She has been in charge for the opening song of J-Wave “STEP ONE” since April 2018.
In August 2018, she released her first album “To The End Of This World” since she moved to Universal Music Japan. In March 2013, she will unveil her first concert album “Live at Blue Note Tokyo” in which she performed with Steve Gadd and Will Lee in September 2018.
Miton Usui is an extraordinary “traveling musician” who travels solo around the United States carrying recording equipments, and records/has sessions in the homes of legendary musicians.
He started learning cello in his childhood, and after he studied and performed in the US as a professional guitarist, he decided to become a singer-songwriter. He moved back to Japan at age 20. However, after practicing the piano for years and composing songs in Japan, he went back to the US with his recording equipments.
Usui is an active and very talkative person, and he has visited various musicians in the United States by making appointments on his own. He would visit their homes, stay there, and sometimes would even be given food.
He’s made three albums until now in such unique and distinct way — superb musicians including Will Lee, Jim Keltner, Rick Marotta, David Spinozza, Larry Goldings have participated in these albums. The albums gained great attention in the music industry. Japanese lyricist Takashi Matsumoto wrote a comment for the jackets of these album, and many music magazines made a feature on the special work.
Usui does not belong to any record labels or agencies and produces all his CDs on his own. His capability enabled him to perform in huge music festivals including the Fuji Rock Festival. Usui tours around Japan with his fellow Takashi Numazawa and Takashi Nakajo, and produces and edits songs for other artists at the same time. He also writes many horn arrangements.
The piano he taught himself has a rich taste of New Orleans sound, his fingerstyle guitar so sensitive and his singing voice so stunning. He is a talented and promising singer-songwriter who can sing his very-original Japanese American pop.
Youichi murata is a trombonist, a composer, a music arranger and a producer all at the same time. He was born in Shizuoka City Shizuoka Prefecture on July 25th 1963. He released his first solo album in 1991.
Artists around the world including David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Fred Wesley, Tower of Power and Marcus Miller had joined his albums later on as his guests. Murata co-wrote an album with Ivan Lins in 2010. The multitalented performer has joined performances outside Japan such as Montreux Jazz Festival and Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival.
Murata is currently the concertmaster of Sadao Watanabe Big Band and is also in charge of arranging musics for the band. As a music arranger, Murata arranged multitudinous pop songs for singers like Ringo Sheena, Ken Hirai, Yuzu, JUJU, Noriyuki Makihara, Tomoyasu Hotei, SMAP and MIWA. He’s also made many brass band arrangements including the ones for Evangelion, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Central Band, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and the 2014 Band Restoration.
Murata arranged and performed at the Olympic flag handover ceremony in the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. He’s worked more for the 2020 Tokyo Games including the song he made for the projection mapping that took place at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2017, and arranging the “Tokyo Olympic Ondo 2020”. In the same here the proficient musician released his 21st solo work “LIVE” and simultaneously published musical scores for the ten works included in the same album.
Born in 1963, the artist comes from Aomori prefecture.
Current he leads the Eric Miyashiro Big Band and the band Solid Brass as the lead trumpeter.
He is also active in recording with many artists and recording in TV, CM, movie soundtracks and musicals such as “Okepi”, “Big” and “Class Act” (the Broadway musical).
Keisuke Torigoe is a composer, music arranger and double bass player who was born in Tamano City, Okayama Prefecture. He started playing the contrabass when he entered a brass band in high school. He continued performing in bands after he graduated high school. He came to Tokyo in 1997 after he quit work in 1996.
Torigoe joined various sessions and recordings in and out of Japan, and has the talent to perform diversified music including jazz, Japanese music, pop music, tango and Brazilian music.
Akira Yamada was born in Tottori Prefecture in 1992. He’s always loved music since his childhood, and moved to Tokyo after he graduated high school. He learned under masters such as Shigefumi Kobayashi, Takeshi Inomata, Tamaya Honda and Gene Jackson and started performing professionally at age 18.
Yamada joined Norio Maeda(pf)’s trio in 2012, and was chosen for Ryoko Moriyama with Norio Maeda trio which performed in the luxury cruise ship “MS Asuka II”. Around the same time, he started playing with the swing piano expert Yoshitaka Akimitsu(pf) and all-time best mainstream jazz artist Yasumasa Kumagai.
He joined the prodigious French Jazz artist Florin Niculescu(vln)'s tour in Japan in 2014, and the following year joined Shunzo Ohno(tp)'s band. Yamada toured in Taiwan with TOKU(vo, flgh) in the same year.
In 2016, he joined the Junko Onishi(pf) trio. Yamada performed in Baku International Jazz Festival in Azerbaijan in the same year with the band "Takumi no Warudakumi".
He performed with Nate Smith(ds) in "Jazz@Hall" in Shibuya Densho Hall in 2017, and flew to the Philippines to collaborate with Takeshi Ohbayashi(pf) trio for the "ASEAN-Japan TV Festival". Later on Yamada joined Miku Hirose(tp)'s BigBand and Naruyoshi Kikuchi's "dCprG" in 2018. He's also worked with the Kazumi Watanabe(gt) trio.
He was the drummer for the movie MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT, and Yamada also went to the performance in New York. The beloved drummer has also played for the movies "Kantai Collection" and "Kids on the Slope".
Furthermore, he's performed for Shiseido commercials and the opening music for J-Wave "STEP-ONE" and he leads the band "Kejime Collective".
Sunrise Promotion Tokyo
(10: 00 ~ 18: 00 on the whole day)