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Tokyo Travel Guide

Jazz in Abundance in Tokyo

Posted: May. 3rd, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Tokyo Jazz Fest
South China Morning Post

I have to admit I was pretty surprised to hear that jazz, my favorite genre, is doing so well in Tokyo. In fact, it's starting to sound like getting that smoky jazz-hall feel from America's past might now only be available overseas, and Tokyo sounds like as good a place as any to start my search, right?

It's a weeknight and there's a full house at Tokyo jazz club b-Flat. The drinks are flowing, and people are letting their hair down after a busy day at work.


But you can hear a pin drop as veteran American jazzman Lew Tabackin coaxes delicate notes from his flute in the style of the Japanese shakuhachi. The last, fragile sound floats out of the instrument and the room erupts in applause: the jazz fans at b-Flat know quality when they hear it.


Respectful, loyal audiences are a big reason many jazz musicians keep coming back to Japan. Some have even made their home in the country.


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