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Welcome to JAZZ! Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE 2016 10/8-9 (Saturday-Sunday)

The Yokohama Jazz Promenade (hereafter, JazzPro) began in 1993. It is Japan’s leading Jazz festival, held every October. This festival has 24 years of history as of this year, but there are many people thinking “I always worry about how to have fun…” So our editorial staff will now introduce you to our recommended bands, some of the most fun parts of JazzPro. Why not enjoy the jazz festival this year?

Text & Illustrations Wakako Ishida
Report Editor: Yokohama Arts Commission (Yokohama Public Foundation for Arts and Culture)

 What is the Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE?

Isezaki Mall 1・2St. Orquesta de la Salud (c)YJP (Photography: Kei Imaizumi) ※All photographs were taken last year.Isezaki Mall 1・2St. Orquesta de la Salud (c)YJP (Photography: Kei Imaizumi) ※All photographs were taken last year.

Jazz overflows into the streets of Yokohama, a reminder of fall

With the motto “the whole town’s a stage,” this jazz festival brings citizens and musicians together as one. The streets are flooded with jazz performances, a particular feature of Yokohama in autumn. The festival locations are the jazz clubs of nostalgic Kannai, dotted with historic structures, and the halls and street corners of the waterfront. Over 150,000 spectators arrive every year at this, Japan’s largest jazz event.

This year, the event will be held over two days, October 8-9 (Saturday-Sunday). The festival has a special system whereby, if one purchases a free-pass ticket for one day (or both days) and swaps it for a badge, one may freely move between about 35 participating halls and jazz clubs. From famous musicians to hopeful newcomers, with various styles of jazz to hop between, this is a very luxurious festival.

Lots of well-known jazz clubs and stylish live music houses are nearby!

DOLPHY ー Itabashi Fumio (p)Orchestra (c)YJP (Photography: Crew Maeda)DOLPHY ー Itabashi Fumio (p)Orchestra (c)YJP (Photography: Crew Maeda)

Even at jazz clubs which may be slightly awkward for beginners to approach, guests with badges will thrive, growing familiar with each other during JazzPro! During this festival, even those who are indecisive when they think “I’d like to check out a jazz club” can freely come and go. At JazzPro, there are a lot of guests who are awakened to the charms of jazz and become repeat visitors!

Unga Park Shiratani Self Service (c)YJP (Photography: Ryosuke Ono)Unga Park Shiratani Self Service (c)YJP (Photography: Ryosuke Ono)

We asked about places to see and hear jazz

The impressions generated by a single song can change if it is played by different people.

Jazz began over 100 years ago. Jazz, which was born as a form of popular music, encountered and absorbed new values based on changes in people’s lives and the creation of new musical instruments, and performance location, and evolved due to this.
In jazz, unlike classical music, the majority of songs are ad-libbed during performances. For this reason, the impressions generated by a single song can change greatly when it is performed by different players. So different outputs, based on various values in the performer’s background, can form one piece of music. This is the best thing about jazz.

04_マグカル09

Sensing the player’s background

Take notice of each player. Where was this player born, and what kind of landscape did he see? Feel what kind of music he listened to and what kind of personality he has from the music. Maybe you will encounter someone with exactly the same values as you. The player’s heart communicates with yours through the music. This is one of the joys of jazz.
The size of Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE increases every year; at present it hosts about 3,000 players, from pros to amateurs. Why not take this opportunity to find your new favorite player?

Takenori Eguchi

We asked this person

Takenori Eguchi: Born and raised in Yokohama. Music producer and jazz writer. Creates analog records at CHIGUSA Records, which started the Chigusa jazz cafe; helped to cause the recent record boom. Received last year’s Jazz Audio Disk first prize. Representative of Uplift Jazz Record. Producer for YOKOHAMA JAZZ EGGS.

 The editors recommend these bands!

Gentle Forest Jazz Band

This is a 21-person big band under the direction of leader and trombonist Gentle Kubota, known as the “dance conductor,” whose splendid tact and judgment are obvious. Spectators can enjoy their bold, genre-defying performances focused on jazz dance numbers.

http://gfjb.jp 06_gfjb-___2015-3

A message from Gentle Kubota

“Nice to see you! It’s Gentle Kubota!
Gentle Forest Jazz Band’s swing is born from everyday human emotions -- that’s the blues for sure! But the invigoration that overflows from all of this rises from the beaches of Kanagawa where I was raised since childhood. That’s Kanagawa swing!!
We’re waiting for the Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE.”

The editorial department recommends!

The genre called “swing jazz” emulates historic traditional jazz, creating a bright and fun sound, and we certainly recommend it! Leader Gentle Kubota is also a member of Zainichi Funk, one of the most prominent bands of today. The tunes themselves are naturally charming (CM and drama are used often), but when you hear them live, the appeal is doubled! The highly-entertaining performances and the wonderful chorus work of the three female band members are extremely satisfying. Don’t miss it!

Gentle Forest Jazz Band
■Time and date: October 8 (Saturday) 19:20〜20:30
■Location: Kannai Hall Large Hall http://kannaihall.jp

 We recommend this too! Carefully selected stages to bring you more
 and more excitement

Hitomi Nishiyama

A pianist who learned classic piano from the age of 6, then switched to jazz at 18. In 2015, he released the album “New Heritage Of Real Heavy Metal”, in which he covered heavy metal albums in a jazz style. This received high praise from fans of both jazz and heavy metal.

http://hitominishiyama.net

The editorial department recommends!

A talented pianist, well-known to jazz pros. He has a peculiar tendency to heavy metal covers, but he puts high value of beautiful, easy-to-listen-to jazz piano. He puts on high-quality live performances, with high compositional skill, strong technical abilities to put that on display, and a familiar pop feeling. We absolutely recommend him even for beginners!

Hitomi Nishiyama(p)Torio Parallax
■Time and date: October 9 (Sunday) 16:00〜17:00
■Location: NHK Yokohama Broadcasting Office (Free) http://www.nhk.or.jp/yokohama/

Encounter

The “ENCOUNTER” quartet, led by pianist Hideaki Hori and saxophone player Wataru Hamasaki. A genuine contemporary jazz group at the forefront of Japan’s jazz scene. While respecting the traditions of jazz, they continue to publish progressive, original songs.

http://horinky.withmusic.jp/encounter/

The editorial department recommends!

Though still young, they are considered the peak of popularity and skill. They are breathing new life into the Japan jazz scene and attracting great notice from overseas. Their playing, refined in the big city, will certainly make even those unfamiliar with jazz say “cool!”

Encounter
■Time and date: October 9 (Sunday) 12:00〜13:00
■Location: Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall http://www.city.yokohama.lg.jp/naka/kaikou/

Afro-Qbamigos!

Afro-Qbamigos! are a Latin band led by Cuban trumpeter Luis Valle. They have strong, aggressive African rhythms, jazzy brass, and ad-libbed piano pieces which range from delicate to daring. Rather than being limited to Latin music, they bring in influences from worldwide music, giving birth to an innovative sound overflowing with new ideas.
http://luis.m78.com/band_afro.html

The editorial department recommends!

An energetic Latin band whose music makes you want to dance without thinking, their music is so sharp that you don’t need a reason to enjoy it! As entertainers who perform all over the world, they continue to develop fun, easy-to-listen-to live performances. In addition to people who enjoy Latin music, even people who are unfamiliar with it should be sure to experience it and feel it with their bodies!

Afro-Qbamigos!
■Time and date: October 9 (Sunday) 19:20〜20:20
■Location: Landmark Hall http://www.yokohama-landmark.jp/web/eventspace/

Eiji Taniguchi

A solo performer at the front of Japan’s jazz clarinet world. In addition to leading a band and holding concerts and live performances, he does various activities such as producing and performing with domestic and international artists. He is well-versed in many genres, from traditional to modern, including Latin, ethnic music, and classical, and he continues to broaden his activities, working as a composer, radio DJ, and more.

http://www.atem-music.com/eiji/

Jazz pros Peggy Hayama (vo)/Eiji Tanimura (cl) with NEW Quartet +1; Peggy Hayama will celebrate 65 years as a singer next year.

http://peggy.sunnyday.jp

The editorial department recommends!

We think that their skill at elegant clarinet jazz is the greatest in Japan. They perform many pieces, from wind music and classical to familiar tunes, so even jazz beginners and students can enjoy it. Their jazz covers may be an entry point for enjoyment by listeners, who will think, surprised, “I’ve heard this song before, but never arranged like this!” Their performance with talented singer Peggy Hayama is the kind of music which will make listeners think “Now that’s jazz!”

(1) Eiji Tanimura (cl) NEW Quartet +1
(2) Peggy Hayama (vo)/Eiji Tanimura (cl) NEW Quartet +1
■Time and date: October 8 (Saturday)  (1)17:00〜17:45 (2)17:45〜18:30
■Location: Kannai Hall Large Hall http://kannaihall.jp

 Listen for free! Main check bands gathered from within the prefecture

Cup Noodles Museum Park  Ueki Little/Echo/Ensemble (2) (c)YJP (Photography: Koyama Crew)Cup Noodles Museum Park Ueki Little/Echo/Ensemble (2) (c)YJP (Photography: Koyama Crew)

All street corner live performances

Active amateur musicians will perform live, using local street corners and sightseeing spots as stages. The locations are places such as Queen’s Square and Colette Mare in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai; Isezaki Mall, the heart of Isezakicho; and Bashado shopping district, so you can stop and listen en route to shopping or sightseeing. All of these shows are free, of course! Though the performers are amateurs, they give performances which would not be out of place on a professional stage, overflowing with a free feeling as they bask in the Yokohama breeze.

I want to go there specifically! Bands of young people gathered from all over Kanagawa

Ueki Little/Echo/Ensemble

A jazz band made up of elementary school students is rare even across the nation. Formed based on an appeal 31 years ago from the teaching staff of Kamakura-Ueki Elementary School, the band is currently composed of students from surrounding elementary schools. Their motto is “Let’s play in a fun and cool way!” Although they are elementary school students, they perform live with many guests, including leading pianists from Japan and the rest of the world, and their performance level is guaranteed to be high. This is the 30th anniversary of their formation, and you can hear their performances, which grow hotter every time.

■ October 8 (Saturday) 12:55〜13:35
Cup Noodles Museum Park http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/attraction/08.html

Sensoku Academy GET JAZZ ORCHESTRA

Formed by students at Sensoku Academy Junior College (Kawasaki), the first among Japanese music schools to establish a full-scale jazz course, this is a big band which is very familiar to JazzPro. Beginning with performing alongside well-known players and orchestras, they have broadened the breadth of their activities to nationwide tours, performing in jazz groups, and album releases. They study music with the aim of becoming professionals, and their performances are absolutely worth seeing!

■ October 8 (Saturday) 19:20〜20:00
Queen’s Circle http://www.qsy-tqc.jp/event/

100-Man Sax

A large ensemble of people who like the saxophone. They usually perform primarily at Fujisawa. These 50 sax lovers come together at exactly noon on Saturday. Their performance space for JazzPro is in Queen’s Park, near Minatomirai Station. Why not stop and check them out during your shopping or leisure?

■October 8 (Saturday) 12:00〜12:40
Queen’s Park http://www.qsy-tqc.jp/event/space.html

Arcobaleno Jazz Orchestra

This band’s activities are centered in Machida and Sagamihara. They were formed only in 2014, and most of their members are in their 20s, so they are very fresh! The tones of these music-loving young people, who gather with the motto of “Let’s seriously enjoy some fun music,” will envelop the business park in joyful energy and earnestness.

■October 9 (Sunday) 15:40〜16:20
Bellini’s Hill, Yokohama Business Park http://www.officenomura.jp/ybp/facilities/

For two days, the streets of Yokohama will be dyed the color of jazz. Surely, visitors will be intoxicated with joy during this time of bliss, wrapped up in live music.
Pamphlets listing performers, meeting places, and cooperative events will be distributed at local ticket service locations, tourist information centers, ward offices, and so on. Make sure to get one!

http://jazzpro.jp/9997
Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE 2016
Time and date: October 8 (Saturday) - 9 (Sunday), 2016, roughly 12:00~21:00 (Varies based on location)
Locations: Yokohama Port Opening Memorial Hall/Kannai Hall/Landmark Hall/Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 1/Others (Approximately 50 places)
Sponsor: Yokohama JAZZ PROMENADE Executive Committee
Official Website:
http://jazzpro.jp
Recommended as a present! Well-known cake bakery MAKOON YOKOHAMA 


10_IMG_39626

A cake bakery which opened in December 2015. With the concept of “New York in Yokohama,” They use seasonal ingredients to make western sweets.

09_IMG_39338

Descending a staircase into the basement of an old building, thinking “Is this really a good place!?”, you open the door and the all-white store interior spreads out in front of you like a new world.
At the counter, there are various fresh sweets like pudding and shortcake, along with baked sweets such as shortbread, financiers, and madeleines. The beauty of the shop’s appearance and the abundant, tender flavor demonstrate their careful work. Especially popular is their fluffy pudding, full of fresh cream. One can really taste the ingredients in their financier in their shortbread and financiers, a deliciousness that tastes like happiness.

08_IMG_39428

The baked sweets set is a perfect present from Yokohama. It comes wrapped in a blue ribbon, representative of Yokohama.

■MAKOON YOKOHAMA
Address: 〒231-0002 Yokohama Building B1F, 3-9 Kaigandori, Shichu-Ku, Yokohama
TEL: 045-680-4055
Operating Hours: 11:00 - 21:00
Closed: Sundays/Holidays
http://makoonyokohama.jp

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