Jazz makes its way to a Christmas Eve Concert

Okinawa Jazz Association big band will play a medley of jazz tunes from dixieland to modern in its Christmas Eve concert.

With the end of the Battle of Okinawa and World War II in 1945, and the entry of Americans to Okinawa, there came a new form of popular music that quickly caught on with the Okinawans.

Hot performances of jazz music were developed every night at seemingly every officer’s club, non-commissioned officers clubs and even the Enlisted Men’s Clubs.  It didn’t take long for Okinawans to take note, and to take the music off-base and into local community cells.  Listening and learning about jazz from the U.S. and the Philippines, and even mainland Japan, was enough to get Okinawans fired up to learn.

The Okinawa  Musicians Association was formed I n 1957 to create a musicians’ workplace environment, and it ultimately improved to become the Okinawa Jazz Association.  With Okinawa’s return to Japan in 1972, jazz music opportunities in American clubs on bases decreased, but local jazz musicians kept seeking new places to perform.

Their jazz was the American style, but absorbed new folk songs, classical music and even popular ditties, Locke and fork, causing the Okinawa music world to prosper.  In response, today’s jazz musicians are developing the lasts jazz styles and activities, factoring in slight depth for exchange with many musicians who visit from mainland Japan or overseas.

In this concert, the history of jazz, Dixieland Jazz, swing music, modern jazz and crossover jazz will be mixed with the pace of the Okinawa jazz life.  There’s the opportunity see and hear Okinawa’s best jazz musicians.

The Christmas Eve Concert starts at 6 p.m., a half-hour after doors to the Naha Civic Hall large hall open.  Advance admission is ¥2,000, ¥1,500 for Okinawa Jazz Association memberships, ¥1,000 for high school and junior high school students, and £¥500 for elementary school students.  Adult admission at the door is ¥2,500.