Musicians ready to jazz up Tokyo

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The Independent Culture

The largest jazz festival in Japan gets under way at the Tokyo International Forum on September 3, bringing together some of the biggest names in the jazz world for the three-day event.

Roberta Flack and Al Jarreau are among the performers who will be taking to the stage for the Tokyo Jazz Festival 2010, along with Ron Carter, Christian Scott, Billy Bang and Ingrid Jensen.

The bands include the European Jazz Trio, the Battle Jazz Big Band, conducted by Osamu Yoshida, and the Jazz Crusaders, featuring Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Wayne Henderson.
The event has a strong international flavour, but local artistes will include Tak Matsumoto, Manami Morita and guitar virtuoso Kazumi Watanabe.

One of the highlights is sure to be an improvisational performance by Han Bennink - supported by just his snare drum and a stool - while Marcus Miller will also be performing with the NHK Symphony Orchestra.

The morning of the last day of the event will be dedicated to women in jazz, with Erena Terakubo supported on stage by Ron Carter, Will Boulware and Omar Hakim. That is to be followed by the all-female The Mosaic Project, with vocals by Nona Hendryx and Patricia Romania, Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Tineka Postma on saxophone and Helen Sung on piano.

Less than 10 years old, the Tokyo Jazz Festival has earned itself a solid reputation on the festival circuit for attracting some of the top performers and a knowledgeable audience. The event still has some way to go before it can ranked alongside the premium festivals, such as those in the Swiss city of Montreux, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and those in Newport, Rhode Island, and New Orleans.

Dates: 03-09-2010 to 05-09-2010.

Venue: Tokyo International Forum, Hall A, 5-1 Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan.

Tickets: From Y6,500 (€59.47) to Y9,500 (€86.93). A ticket to attend all events costs Y18,000 (€164.72).

Further information: Tel. +81 3 5777 8600 (from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)