Made in Japan
Few people are likely to see connections between the cultures of Japan and Africa. But for Japanese-born bass player Tatsu
Aoki melding traditional Japanese music with jazz just comes naturally.
From his childhood days in Japan as the son of a Geisha, to his teenage years he spent immersed himself in rock 'n roll,
Tatsu Aoki has always been surrounded by music. Since founding the Asian American Jazz Festival, which began in Chicago in 1996 and
now travels the country, Aoki has been sharing his far-reaching musical influences with the rest of the world.
Whether playing with fellow innovators like Malachi Favors, Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell, or jamming with his taiko drumming
group, Aoki forges musical styles that draw from traditional cultures at the same time that he expands their boundaries.
Find out more about
JASC Tsukasa Taiko, the Japanese drumming group where Aoki teaches the three-stringed shamisen, and
learn how to play Japanese music.
Check out the lineup for Aoki's
Asian American Jazz Festival, an event the Chicago Tribune has called "a crowning event on the city's cultural calendar."
Asian Improv Records, a recording label for Aoki and other Asian-American artists.
Drop by another of Aoki's labels, Chicago-based
Check out the
Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, another group in Chicago's innovative jazz scene.