TOKYO JAZZ started in 2002 with Herbie Hancock and is now in its 20th year. More than 5,000 artists from Japan and around the world, from up-and-coming artists to legends who have contributed to the history of jazz, have participated in the event. They have all performed with the underlying theme of Under the theme of “Into a Future Beyond Borders and Generations.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival.
The in-person festival has been held online since 2020, with hopes of returning to a live festival in the future. Under the theme of “a musical trip around the globe,” the festival will feature many artists from all over the world, from rising stars to legends, while introducing the archives of many iconic performances from the past.
The venue for this event is Blue Note Tokyo, a highly respected and upscale jazz club. November 28th is also the 33rd anniversary of Blue Note Tokyo, which opened in 1988. Tune in to listen to the colorful jazz performances straight from the festive atmosphere of Tokyo in winter.
The performing artists include Herbie Hancock, Makoto Ozone, Dimash Kudaybergen, Miho Hasama m_unit, Banksia Trio, BIGYUKI, Ayaka Hirahara, and Chihiro Yamanaka. The four-hour festival, which includes a tribute to Chick Corea, is available to stream for free on YouTube.
In addition, TOKYO JAZZ, has launched an archive site to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Watch performances by a variety of superstars and legends from 2002 to 2019 as many times as you want.
Check out some of the special events featured in this year’s festival.
[Special 1: A Tribute to Chick Corea] Chick Corea passed away suddenly at the age of 79 in February of this year, so we’d like to present a memorial segment. In the fifty-three years since 1968, he visited Japan more than fifty times. Chick performed a number of times at Tokyo Jazz over the years, always delivering the joy of music to everyone who listened. Select past Chick Corea Tokyo Jazz performances will be introduced during the stream and available on the archive site.
[Special 2: Solo Performance by Herbie Hancock] Herbie Hancock was TOKYO JAZZ’s music producer from the first festival in 2002 until 2005. On the occasion of TOKYO JAZZ’s twentieth anniversary, they’re delivering a special appearance themed around going on a musical journey. He’ll perform his famous piece, “Maiden Voyage.” Enjoy it along with an interview!
[Special 3: Dance and jazz collide on stage! DaBY×Banksia Trio] It’s Tokyo Jazz’s first-ever collaboration with top-class dancers, featuring Dance Base Yokohama’s Kenta Kojiri, Masako Yasumoto, Masahiro Yanagimoto, Anna Irite, Kaho Kogure, and Saori Hala. The dancers will do a session with Banksia Trio and make full use of the space in Blue Note Tokyo. The 20th Tokyo Jazz Festival will get a dynamic boost from this fusion of jazz and contemporary dance, so we hope you’re ready.
[Special 4: Musical Travels: Focus on Israeli Jazz] Tokyo Jazz invites artists from all over the world. In accordance with this year’s theme of “a musical trip around the globe”, one of our focuses will be on Israeli jazz musicians. Streaming and archiving performances by Avishai Cohen, Eli Degibri, Shai Maestro, and more.
[Special 5: The archive is now open] The special website where you can see videos of Tokyo Jazz performances both past and present for free is now open for a limited time only—until March 2022. Simply register with your email address to enjoy these musical gems.