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Unjyunaa Jazz Music Festival Blows Through the Ryukyu Islands

Date Posted: 2003-10-24

The 2003 Okinawa Jazz Music Festival will be held on Sunday, November 02, 2003. The location of this Festival will be at the Ginowan City Covention Center Outdoor Theater, gates will open at 1 p.m. and the show will begin at 2 p.m. The Jazz Festival is expected to last until 10 p.m. In case of inclement weather (typhoon) the date will be postponed until the next day. Tickets are 3,800 yen and 4,300 yen the day of the event. More information could be found at www.Jazz-Festa.wwma.net

Sorry, but no photography or video is allowed. You are however welcome to bring a cooler. Please be responsible. The Concert Executive Supervisor and main ticket is Takehiro Honda who is a Jazz pianist that has connected with himself and his fans through his vibrant world music.

Honda showed his ability to glitter with his fusion band "Native Son" and as a member of the Sadao Watanabe Quartet in 1970-1980. But he had to battle illness for the past few years. He experienced a cerebral hemorrhage in 1993, but fortunately it was milder than the next cerebral hemorrhage. Unfortunately he also developed a kidney disease in 1995.

Again, in 1997, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, that dealt him a deadly blow. Fortunately he survived and only his left hand was paralyzed. There was a piano in the rehabilitation room of the hospital, and he touched the piano. As soon as he touched the piano, he thought, "That's too bad." His hands could not move easily, not only the left but the right hand as well. He was shocked realizing the severity of his condition.

After leaving the hospital, he practiced the piano day and night with extreme diligence, not stopping except to eat and sleep. He kept playing the piano for three months, he finally realized that he could recover his piano playing ability.

Three years passed, and he saw a movie the inspired him. The movie's name was "Buena Vista Social Club". The old-aged Cuban musicians played at Carnegie Hall in New York, which really inspired him, saying "That movie really made a deep impression on me".

The movie's impression was still lingering with him when he met his classmates from Kunitachi University of Music at a live house 25 years after they had last played together. "One moment I said, 'Let's play together again'".

Mr. Honda has recovered his health and he could also run up two flights of stairs now. He is coming to Okinawa to give you a wonderful display of his courage and love for a borderless language...Music!

Honda has invited a good fried to be on stage November second. Hino Terumasa born October 25, 1942, Tokyo, Japan and following, more or less literally, in the footsteps of his trumpet-playing, tap-dancing father, Hino learned to tap at the age of four, and took up the trumpet when he was nine years old. He taught himself the principles of jazz improvisation by transcribing solos by Miles Davis (from whom, no doubt, he learned his conviction about the importance of space), Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. He began playing publicly in American army clubs in 1955 in Japan, then joined Hiroshi Watanabe and Takao Kusagaya, but his first major job was with the Hideo Shiraki Quintet, where he stayed from 1965-69. During 1964-65 he had led his own group, and left Shiraki at the end of the decade in order to lead his own band full-time. In 1974 he worked with Masabumi Kikuchi, then in June 1975 he went to the USA and worked with Joachim Kuhn (1975), Gil Evans, Jackie McLean and Ken McIntyre (1976), Hal Galper (1977), Carlos Garnett (1977), Sam Jones (1978), Elvin Jones (1982) and Dave Liebman, as well as continuing to lead his own group, the band which John Scofield credits as moving him from fusion to jazz. By then Hino was dividing his time equally between the USA and Japan. He plays trumpet and flugelhorn with a mellow fire, and his fame in Europe continues to grow almost matching his reputation in Japan and the USA. He toured Europe with Eddie Harris in November 1990, and was reunited with Kikuchi for a rhythmic 1996 recording date featuring alto saxophonist Greg Osby. As a guest of Takehiro Honda, Hino Terumasa and the Honda Takehiro band will take stage Sunday evening the 2nd of November to give you a night of Jazz under the Okinawa sky.

Guests of the Honda Takekhiro band include Jazz Trumpet player Mine Kosuke, Jazz Bassist- Greg Lee and Tamaya Honda on Drums; Michiko Suzuki on vocals and Jazz Tap Dancer, Ayako Ukawa.

The Unjyunaa Jazz Festival will be hosting an unlimited amount of talent to include The Katsuo Miyazaki Band, recording artists and Latin Jazz and Salsa favorites-Kachimba 1551 performing songs off of their new album !SALUD!; You will also be swept off your feet by the Jazz Rock band Taiyo-Fu Orchestra who has three albums under their belt. The Swing Herd Orchestra made up of an all volunteer group will play some old and new favorites while a local U.S. Big band takes stage and shows Okinawa some soul from all over America. There will also be two or three audition bands that will hit the stage. The M.C. for the evening will be Kandi Miyazato owner of Kokopelli and a musician herself. If you wish to hear some of these artists please tune into Search Okinawa Radio at www.searchokinawa.com

Tickets can be bought at Lawson's-Ticket No.L87465; Takara Records; Teryua Records; & Various Live Houses; so please check the website at www.Jazz-Festa.wwma.net for all available locations, if you have questions please contact us at info@jazz-festa.wwma.net or call us at 098-863-1832.

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