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Japanese Jazz, Rock Fusion and World Music has a long history in Japan, but lately, there has been an increase in the number of musicians based in mainland Japan and beyond who have migrated, passed through, and jammed out in Okinawa.
Among them, Yugo Satoh is an excellent guitarist recently hailing from Yokohama, Japan. And guess what, his specialty is Japanese Jazz, Rock Fusion.
As a child, this Japanese Jazz Guitarist felt a special attraction to the guitar and he was also interested in Rock and Fusion.
When he was 18, he studied Jazz under the Yoshihiko Hosono, but he was not only interested in Jazz alone and tried to learn many other genres of music and to develop his own style.
If you ask him, he will tell you, in Nihongo of course, that “Outside Guitar Playing is the Best!” and he is very good at it. However, he can also easily join other musicians and accept backing band and studio work when he is asked.
He was such a good guitarist as a kid that when he was studying under Yoshihiko Hosono, he was already making appearances in some of Tokyo’s jazz clubs as an active musician!
Satoh made a major debut in 1991 with the group
ESUKEN to produce the Omnibus CD, ” Tokyo Latin Declaration” at the ” Tancyo-Club.” Pizzicato Five’s Yasuaki Konishi renamed group “The cozy Corners ” and then made the group’s introduction by producing their 1st CD, ”The Cozy Corners.”
He also actively worked in a group with other guitarists as a 3 man unit and joined in on many Omnibus CD’s and Sessions.
He also loves using computers to make funny, grim and amazing music as hobby and he holds a particular affinity for the MAC platform. (So be areful PC lovers!)
Currently, he lives in Okinawa, Japan with his wife and his mother where he continues to make music and hone his craft.
After a recent performance with Mr. Satoh, I can say with certainty that he is someone to watch for when you are looking for some good live music. Not only that, but he is friendly and approachable as well.
Satoh’s style is very up-to-date with the contemporary sound of jazz and fusion today. However, he is fully versed in the ways of traditional jazz ripping as well.
His style is exciting, highly creative and versatile and he shows fluency in the standard jazz, bebop jazz, jazz fusion, funk and rock languages plus some.
One thing that is unique about Satoh-San is high use of outside playing which is not something that many players on Okinawa have truly mastered. However, Satoh is adept at using improvisational techniques and devices in a tasteful way that takes the listener’s ear to the land of the unexpected with extraordinary ingenuity. And the best part is that he can also bring you back again smoothly before you start missing the familiar sounds of home. What do I mean?
I mean that his playing is just cool!
Japanese Jazz and Fusion can have a feel and aesthetic that is often quite different than music played by western music and Satoh-San will take you to places inside and outside the stated harmony that you may never have thought about before. It is like kaos and unpredictability heavily laced with pure musical logic that will make perfect sense to you once you experience it; and that kind of stuff is exciting.
In November, Yugo Satoh will be performing in Okinawa with some Japanese Jazz friends that he invited down from Tokyo and Yokohama and Kawaskai.
These band members are diverse with collective experiences that span the river from Jazz, Funk and Fusion to Hip Hop, Rock and Blues!
According to Mr. Satoh, however, don’t expect to hear only Jazz Standards at this show. He says that the performance will be a mixture or, “champuru,” of styles. They will play selections ranging from Japanese Jazz, Funk, and World Music providing plenty of variety.
In a nutshell, I call them Kool, but why don’t you just call them…
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