Famous Japanese Jazz Musicians

by joe on August 7, 2011

There is a great respect for American jazz in Japan. It might be argued that Japanese appreciation for the art form runs deeper than in the United States, where jazz is no longer very popular. There are many Japanese jazz musicians of international renown, and their genres run from traditional jazz to rock-jazz fusion. One of the most well-known Japanese jazz musicians is smooth jazz saxophonist Sadao Watanabe.

Sadao Watanabe

Sadao Watanabe

Lisa Ono, a bossa nova singer who sings in Portuguese, English, and Japanese, has many fans. There are a lot of excellent Japanese pianists and keyboardists. Hiromi, a young female pianist-keyboardist, is known for her technical expertise and fusion tunes. Masabumi Kikuchi was one of the last keyboardists to play with jazz icon Miles Davis. Makoto Ozone is a veteran of the international jazz scene. Keiko Matsui and Junko Onishi also have thriving careers. Some other Japanese musicians of note are avant-garde big band leader Satoko Fujii and post-bop trumpeter Shunzo Ono.

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