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Naha music bar owner 'Has Sax, Will Travel'

Date Posted: 2012-02-10

Editor’s Note: A professional jazz guitarist, Yugo Sato, visits Japan Update occasionally, introducing Okinawan Jazz clubs, live houses and owners to our audience. Yugo Sato became enamored with the guitar when a kid, and listened to all kind of music, particularly liking the Rock and Fusion genre. When only 18 , he began studying under mainland Japanese professional guitarist Yoshihiko Hosono, while working backup musician and singer, while playing jazz clubs.

By Yugo Sato

The first time I met Toshiyuki Chiba was a live performance day when I played with him as a session member in Bird Land at Nago City. He just called me and said “Let’s enjoy the live tonight!”. Then after we played, he also said to me “That was an exciting night! Let’s do it again one day, I will call you”. But as you know, that kind of greeting is general talking, so sometimes it takes a while to do it again.

But a couple months later, I did receive a phone call from him, and he asked me “Hey Yugo, I’m gonna play live soon, won’t you join me again?”. I was surprised and excited to hear that and answered “Yes, of course” on the phone. At that time, I played with his original band. And now, he’s become one of my great friends who come to enjoy our house, and also he is my great senior with whom I can talk about music seriously and people I can rely.

Chiba is running his music bar “R-Green” in Sakurazaka, Naha City. There is no live every day, but he does bring live sessions frequently. He call the music genre that playing his bar “Soba Jazz” and it’s sometimes played by his favorite band or sometimes he plays his own. To me, all performance are great, I feel. The bar is open Tuesday to Saturday 9 p.m. to around 1 a.m., and closed on Sunday and Monday In my opinion, alcohol’s offered at a reasonable price. Located at the Sakurazaka district in Naha, it’s like a hiding place for adults. I never tried one thing that I wanted to, and that is this:He used to serve great tasting soba each time when there are music live, but it’s over now.

He is one of those jazz men who loves jazz and soba, and is a great producer of music and owner of the bar. He is doing the blog here toshi.ti-da.net

Toshiyuki Chiba, jazz saxophone player, was born in Hokkaido in 1954. In 1977 he became and started his activity as a pro musician. He experienced playing the support band for famous musicians, and he played at “Kouhaku Song Festival” on the most important New Year’s eve event in Japan. Around 1998, he began expanding his work around Okinawa, Los Angeles, Thailand or Taiwan. His work is particularly effective strongly at Taiwan jazz scene. He is famous as the person who establish the big jazz event “Jazz in Nanjo”, and he started his bar “R-green” at Sakurazaka in 2009.

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