[Dixielandjazz] Trad Jazz In Japan

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Feb 5 17:03:19 PST 2007

Hi Glen & List mates:

Here's some info I dug up on google about the Kokusai Jazz Festival in Osaka
and the home of the New Orleans Rascals. The article (#1) dated from 2004.
The Rascal's (#2) dated currently.

Steve Barbone

#1 Jazz is popular here. Now in its thirty-seventh year, the Kokusai Jazz
Festival, held at the end of July, is a Dixieland festival that features
some of the best players from both Kanto and Kansai regions. But during the
rest of the year, jazz fans patronize New Suntory 5, which hosts some of the
most outstanding traditional jazz ensembles in Japan. Japan's second region
it may be, but the Kansai area still has a great deal to offer, and most of
us who live here wouldn't think of trading it for Tokyo

#2 New Suntory 5  Umeda area OSAKA
The Mecca of traditional and Dixieland Jazz in Kansai and home of the famous
New Orleans Rascals (every Sat. night). The Flat Five, a fine swing group
play every Wed. night and there are regular appearances by stride pianist
Fujimori Shoji. Visiting trad musicians from abroad often come here to sit
in. This is a roomy club with a long bar and windows overlooking Umeda.

The New Suntory 5 is on the fifth floor of the Sonezaki Bldg. which is on
the east side of Sonezaki-dori (the arcade east of Midosuji). If you are on
the Midosuji near subway Higashi-Umeda Stn., it is directly east of of the
Umeda Central Bldg. Music start: 19:50; closed Sun.; cover: ¥1,800+¥500
order. Tel: 06-6312-8912. Fax 06-6314-0267.

on 2/5/07 7:05 PM, glen page at gpage at dccnet.com wrote:

> Hear Me Talkin' To Ya!
> I was very pleased to read about OKOM in Japan. Some may remember that Fr.
> Mike posted something about the New Orleans Rascals of Osaka  a few weeks
> ago, he was searching for a source of cds.
> About six years ago I received an e-mail from a Japanese fan in Osaka, he
> knew that we had interests in common through a couple of postings that I had
> made to DJML. Since that time our friendship has blossomed and we see he and
> his wife 2 or 3 times a year. They have a son in Vancouver and also go to
> USA for festivals at least 3 times a year.
> They are both rabid fans of the music, particularly Lewis. I have been
> slowly trying to widen their musical horizons through giving them tapes and
> cds of some earlier material. They in turn have given me a veritable library
> of cds of Japanese bands, mainly the N.O. Rascals of Osaka.I must have close
> to 30 cds and several dvds and a number of vhs recordings of  the Rascals
> alone.
> The Rascals were formed in 1961 and have only had one change in personnel
> since that time. Sadly one of the current members is indisposed at this time
> but he is hoping to be able to return in the not too distant future.Their
> recorded output is detailed in a 62 page discography that was published at
> the time of their 40th anniversary. Gerard Bielderman, a DJML subscriber,
> has published a discographyof 52 pages.Many of the items listed are not
> generally available but may be obtained through contacts in Osaka. I believe
> that the Rascals were the unofficial hosts for George's 3 tours in the early
> 60s, they certainly made a number of private recordings with the band.The
> band has also appeared at Ascona and a video tape of their participation
> there is very good. Of interest to Lewis fans would be a dvd of them playing
> a tribute to George on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.
> Although there is a fair amount of talking, in Japanese of course,it is
> possible to grasp the fanatical interest that the audience have in the
> music. The distaff member of my friends is currently translating "Call Him
> George" by Ann Fairbairn into Japanese, with some help in trying to
> understand some strange English language.
> The Rascals have made a number of tours to the USA and their discography
> shows a number of well known players have recorded with them. Geoff Bull is
> an Australian who frequently plays with them.A book published to commemorate
> their 30th anniversary is full of great pictures, many of which detail some
> of their USA tours and show many US musicians.
> I hold the Rascals in high esteem and would go to hear them if I had a
> chance, I can follow their progress over the years on recordings. I have not
> checked today but when I was looking at thei web site a few weeks ago there
> was a 15 min video from a tv program that was worth watching. Of the bands
> that I have recordings of the Mahogany Hall Stompers are my second
> favourite, also from Osaka. I have cds of various festivals in Japan and
> like similar events here there is more enthusiasm than skill in some bands
> performances but it would be hard to go wrong with either the Rascals or the
> Mahogany Hall Stompers.
> My friends will be here in a couple of weeks and I will find out the latest
> info re Japan.
> Cheers, Glen.

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