The Eastman Jazz Sextet in Japan: Part 1

August 30, 2017

The Eastman Jazz Sextet has arrived in Japan! As the first stop on its journey, the members of the sextet — Christian Crawford, trumpet; C.J. Ziarniak, saxophone; Luke Norris, saxophone; Sterling Cozza, piano; Ryder Eaton, bass; and Chase Ellison, drums, led by Professor Jeff Campbell – did a workshop and concert at Shobi University’s Kunitachi College of Music. The sextet’s visit to Japan is sponsored by the United States Embassy in Japan.

Besides the August 26 concert at Shobi University for the Jazz Festival at the University, other appearance include a September 1 concert at the Jazz Festival; and a September 2 concert at the Tokyo STATION JAZZ Weekend, which includes a joint concert with the “Jazz Festival Conservatory” (JFC) All Star Big Band, presented by the great jazz pianist Makoto Ozone.

The JFC All Star Big Band is comprised of top students from many Japanese conservatories and music schools. The group, developed by Makoto Ozone, is designed to bring awareness to college jazz programs and to increase the students’ collaborative opportunities. The joint effort between the Eastman ensemble and the JFC All Stars is designed to foster a bond between the groups and enable them to share and exchange musical ideas.

“Our students played two pieces and then entertained questions from the jazz students at the college,” said Jeff Campbell. “Our students were very articulate and provided excellent commentary. Makoto Ozone functioned as host and translator and again expressed his respect for Eastman and the high quality of our students. We are grateful to collaborate with jazz great Makoto Ozone and are grateful for his invitation to perform and work with his students.”

“After the workshop we then assembled a band comprising of our ESM Sextet combined with a big band of Japanese students. This conglomerate will play at the Festival on Saturday evening.”