Progressive Jazz Meets Japanese Gagaku - Creative Jazz Trio -
Seven international musicians held a live-streaming concert on September 30, 2020, at Absolute Blue in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, featuring progressive jazz music mixed with traditional Japanese sounds.
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The concert was hosted by Creative Jazz Trio with four guest performers. Since 2014, the trio has been actively performing a unique blend of classic and jazz music.
The guest performers included University of Science and Arts of Chiapas (UNICACH) Junior Professor Keiko Kotoku, the youngest soloist winner of second prize in the Universal Marimba Competition 2013 in Belgium. She also won first prize in Duo category in the same competition.
Among other international guest musicians were traditional Japanese Gagaku artists Motonori Miura (hichiriki) and Fumiya Otonashi (shō). They have toured worldwide with Tim Hecker, a world-renowned electronic music artist. They also perform in Hecker’s albums “Konoyo” (2018) and “Anoyo” (2019).
The special unit for the concert was named “CJT+Japonism,” reflecting the artists’ intentions to create music that embodies how Japan is viewed from the world. This concert was actually a rare blessing amid the health crisis, as the performers—usually busy performing around the globe—were confined in Japan due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The live-streaming featured 9 songs written by Takafumi Kakizaki, composer and drummer of Creative Jazz Trio. The YouTube highlight video includes a full 22-minute performance of “Samsara - Rinnetenshō -”, a song themed on Zen, a school of thoughts on life and death, in which every instrument steals the limelight. Performer interviews are also featured in the video.
The leader of the band, Takafumi Kakizaki, is trained in modern music composition and percussion. He currently creates and performs music across all genres in Tokyo. His activities include performing in Japan tours with WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne Soloclarinetist Andy Miles and Portuguese trumpet player Gileno Santana, playing as an invited guest in France, and organizing master classes in Mexico.
Mixing traditional Japanese music with modern music had been on Takafumi’s mind, triggering him to form “CJT+Japonism” with musicians he had acquainted from past performances.
The group hopes to organize a world tour after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Creation of their studio-recorded album is underway. Stay tuned for more news from the group.
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