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Akira Tana and Friends from Osaka

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present

Akira Tana and
Friends from Osaka


Drummer Akira Tana invites musicians from Osaka, Hammond B3 organist Atsuko Hashimoto, guitarist Yutaka Hashimoto, and tenor saxophonist Hideki Kawamura, to share the stage for an evening of swinging, unadulterated jazz organ music, in the spirit of jazz organ master Jimmy Smith. The group will celebrate the CD release of their October 2016 live performance in Kobe under the leadership of Mr. Kawamura. They will be joined by jazz vocalist virtuoso Kenny Washington.

$20 General Admission

Born and raised in California, Akira Tana earned degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music. Tana has worked with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, The Paul Winter Consort, Paquito D'Rivera, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Lena Horne, The Manhattan Transfer, Ruth Brown, Charles Aznavour, Maurice Hines, and Van Dyke Parks. He has appeared on over 150 recordings.

Tana co-led a quintet with the bassist, Rufus Reid called TanaReid, has five releases, Yours and Mine and Passing Thoughts, on Concord Records and Blue Motion and Looking Forward, and Back to Front, on Evidence Music. On Sons of Sound, Akira has two releases as a leader, Moon Over the World and Secret Agent Men. The third US releasee on Sons of Sound as a leader is a project by the Secret Agent Men Band playing themes from the movies of James Bond, entitled Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, featuring the vocalist, Annie Sellick. Just released in Japan is a project entitled JAZZaNOVA on Vega Records that features the vocalists, Claudio Amaral, Claudia Villela, Jackie Ryan, Carla Helmbrecht, and Sandy Cressman. Guest artists include Branford Marsalis and Arturo Sandoval. This project will be released in the US in 2017. A recent release as a leader is a recording entitled Otonowa, which features jazz interpretations of Japanese folk and pop melodies that date as far back as the 1800s. The newest release for Otonowa, the group’s name, is Stars Across the Ocean. This group has completed four tours of Tohoku performing and teaching for communites still rebuilding from the Earthquake/Tsunamai of 2011. An active teacher and clinician, Tana has taught at Rutgers University, Queens College, Jersey City State College, New York University, and is currently on the faculty at San Francisco State University and the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA.

Mr. Tana is a product endorser of YAMAHA DRUMS, SABIAN CYMBALS, and VIC FIRTH STICKS.

Described by JazzTimes as one of "the finest male jazz singers in the world," New Orleans native Kenny Washington has earned a devoted following among peers like trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and vibraphonist Joe Locke. Avoiding publicity and participating in highly selective recordings, he's long been considered the Bay Area's best kept jazz secret.

Kenny is a jazz vocalist virtuoso. Emulating the classic styles of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and infusing colors of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, Kenny's free, playful approach, with over a four-octave range is awe inspiring. His tone on ballads is liquid, his scat is so rapid-fire, passionate, melodious and inventive that subsequent saxophone solos often pale, and his intonation is so precise that it becomes noticeable if the piano wasn’t tuned that day. His range seems limitless. With a childhood background singing in gospel, Kenny is at home with the Blues as well as Jazz. No one has done more to showcase his extraordinary talent than saxophonist/arranger Michael O'Neill, who has created a series of projects over the past decades featuring startlingly inventive arrangements specifically designed for Washington's nonpareil talent.

Born in Osaka, Japan, Atsuko Hashimoto playing organ at the age of four. At age 18, she started working for Hammond Japan, giving live organ demonstrations and instruction as a Hammond-certified teacher. At the 40th Naniwa Arts Festival in 2003, she received several awards for her outstanding achievements in music including the Shoji Nakayama Jazz Award, the Progressive Musician's Prize, and awards from both the Governor and Mayor of Osaka. She has a toured with Jeff Hamilton and Houston Person on West Coast and performed at Port-Townsend Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, Frank DeMiero Jazz Festival and more. She currently maintains a busy schedule performing and teaching in Osaka.

Hideki Kawamura was born into a musical family in Kobe. He began playing sax around age 12. He graduated Osaka Music University. During that time he began to playing with Makoto Nakamura,Noriko Ueda. He has playing with many different ensembles and he became a member of Human Soul and released four CDs. Also he lived in New York for a while to take lessons from his mentor Ron Blake. In 2000,he moved to Tokyo and performed with many musicians such as Shigeharu Mukai and Norihide Shiota. He currently lives in Kobe and works with many Kansai musicians. In addition to performing, Hideki has acted as a sax instructor in Osaka Music University. In 2016, he received the Naniwa Jazz Award from both the Governor and Mayor of Osaka. He recorded his debut album in October 2016 with Akira Tana (drums), Yutaka Hashimoto (guitar), and Atsuko Hashimoto (organ).

Yutaka Hashimoto was born in Osaka. He began playing guitar around age 14. He studied under Satoshi Inoue. He quickly began working with many Kansai musicians. He had a chance to perform with Dr. Lonnie Smith and had a tour with Bill Heid and Scott Peterson in Japan. In 2002, he performed at San Jose Jazz Festival, and also the White Noise International Jazz Festival. He has performed and recorded with Atsuko Hashimoto, Takayuki Yagi, Harvey Thompson and Jeff Hamilton in addition to others. In 2014 recorded his album Hear You with Wil Blade (organ), Dylan Hicks (drums) and Hideki Kawamura (tenor sax). In 2015 he received NANIWA Jazz Award from both the Governor and Mayor of Osaka.

Earlier Event: July 21
Manny Moka and The Band On Fire
Later Event: July 28
Robert Schwartz