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Yugo Sato's Strolling Jazz Bar introduces Jazz Café Dubale

Date Posted: 2012-03-09

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, working as a backup musician and singer, and playing at jazz clubs.

Today, I introduce the bar run by professional drummer Katsuya Ikehara, who lives in Yomitan, the same neighborhood as me. I met him at a session one night.

After I met him at the one session, I made friends with him easily and could talk about a lot of things even that first time. When my jazz band “Bayskays” came to Okinawa and had a BBQ at Toguchi beach in Yomitan, he kindly joined us, and we had a beach session right there. It was a fun time and a lot of walkers-by stopped to listen to our session, I remember.

Then he, “Katsuya”, opened his own jazz bar called “Jazz Dubale” in Ginowan City. The bar is kind of small, but he gives you the various choices of jazz music including old style traditional, underground, new wave and much more. It has really a relaxed atmosphere. You can watch music DVDs on the screen too.

The concept of his place is cafe and bar, but there is also live music constantly. Sunday sessions are great with various style musicians playing in sessions. And yes, I do too; I played at first session at the opening of Dubale. And I am looking forward to seeing or joining the session because Katsuya says he is planning more fun in the future.

Katsuya, the owner of Dubale, speaks good English, so don't worry about visiting because of language. Usually Dubale ia open from 1 to 10 p.m, but is often open well past 10 p.m., especially on Sunday session nights. There is also an interesting story about the bar’s name. Dubale is the word one of his seniors thought would fit him, and as he liked it he named his bar Dubale. Dubale is the name of a tree that grows in western Africa. There are people called Griot and they are gathering under the Dubale tree when bartering wares or telling important things from their gods.

Katsuya ‘Kats’ Ikehara is a career drummer and percussionist who is competent in various styles of music. For Kats, a life of music and rhythm started at age 10, when he first heard the music of James Brown. Kats and friends formed a street dance group and he’s been dancing ever since.

The turning point for Kats was a trip to the U.S, which expanded his vision. When he returned to Okinawa, he began lessons with Jazz drummer Genei Tsukayama. Currently, regular gigs keep him busy to develop his drumming.

Upcoming gigs are listed (in English) at http://boplicskool.ti-da.net/

Katsuya got the idea that his bar will be the place like Dubale tree, a place where various musicians gather, and share information and create new things. I felt the young and new power of Okinawa radiating from him so much. Please visit Dubale when you have a chance. There is a free wi-fi connection when the cafe is open, I'm sure Dubale would be the great place to visit for all people who love music in Okinawa!

Jazz Dubale is located in the Hana Building 3-C, in Oyama, Ginowan City. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 10 p.m. Parking is available.

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