The beauty of traditional Japanese music with contemporary music

Produced by Ian McGregor Smith

Formed in 1989, the group has been collaborating with jazz pianist Ian Smith to create a new style of Japanese music that incorporates percussion and other rhythm sections into traditional Japanese music, In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he performed at the Rochester Jazz Festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, and the Sydney Jazz Festival, and has received international acclaim. The albums "On the Bridge" and "Cross Road" are available on Apple Music. 


Member Profile.

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Ian McGregor Smith

Ian Smith has been a Canadian composer and music artist for 30 years, composing and performing music for theater, film, animation, music artists, events, teaching, holidays, etc. From 1988 to 1995, he was the Music Director of the Dramatic Arts School at the University of Windsor He became both director and resident composer, and began his career after earning a Bachelor of Music degree.
In the late 1990s, he began a decade-long international collaboration with Canada's leading traditional Japanese ensemble, Itokan Uchiza, creating a new "Japanese jazz" style that blends Western and Eastern sounds. During this time, he released a smooth jazz style CD under his own name, and has produced and composed music for other CDs.
In addition, he has been very active in the local and international community, composing for children's musicals, major theater productions, choral cantatas, and film projects, performing in theaters, nightclubs, and restaurants, while also serving as musical director for theater productions and teaching various choral and instrumental ensembles.

Ian Smith Website
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Foozan Usui 

He studied shakuhachi under the late Katsuyama Kimoto in 1972, and received the rank of Shihan in 1976, Grand Shihan in 1983, and the title of "Chikusui" in 1994. He received instruction in ensemble technique from Toru Kitano, Noriaki Kitamura, Akikuni Takahashi, Naoshi Tajima, and Seizan Sakata, among others.
In 1993, he won the first prize in the ensemble division of the 18th National Shakuhachi Competition sponsored by the Japan Shakuhachi Federation. In 1991, Ian Smith and Ian began collaborating with Itokan Daza after their first overseas tour in Detroit, Michigan. The collaboration between Ian and ITOKAN DOUZA began.
In 2003, Ian and Itokan-Daiza released a CD, "The Rhythm of the World," which was released in Japan in 2003.
In 2003, Ian published the CD "on the Bridge", in 2004 he performed at the Rochester Jazz Festival, in the same year he performed at the Stockholm Jazz Festival, and in 2009 he published his second CD "Cross Roads".
In 2004, Usui was hired as an assistant professor at Ikenobo Junior College (professor in 2007), which shifted Usui's personal activities to teaching and promoting Japanese music. During his tenure, he was a commentator for the "Workshop for Improving Regional Production Capability Using Local Traditional Performing Arts" organized by the Center for Utilization of Local Traditional Performing Arts, planned, composed, and moderated "Traditional Japanese Music" (8 sessions) provided to the lifelong learning course "Kyo College" organized by the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto, and was a member of the "Traditional Culture for Children" project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. He has also proposed an application to the Shimogyo Youth Activity Center for the "Traditional Culture Children's Class" commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, which was accepted and the "Shimo Ao Hougaku Kyoshitsu" project was implemented.

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Yoka Nakayama 

Koto, 17-stringed koto, sangen, Kyoto Toudoukai master, NHK Japanese Music Skills Development Association 30th Graduation, passed NHK Japanese Music Audition in 1985. Since then, she has performed in Shanghai, China, Versailles, France, Istanbul, Turkey (Cultural Exchange Foundation), Taiwan, Rochester Jazz Festival, and Sydney Jazz Festival, and has also performed at an old castle concert outside of Frankfurt, Germany and at the Sydney Jazz Festival.
He was a lecturer at Ikenobo Gakuen in 2006 and at the "Kyoto Culture Lecture" at Ikenobo Junior College. In Japan, he has performed at the "Sleep Concert" of the Japan Sleep Society, nagauta and traditional Japanese music concerts with Koyo Yoshizumi, and Akira Miyagawa's "Nukata-ou" with Koyo Yoshizumi and Baijaku Nakamura, and at the dedication performance of the Orihime Festival at Imamiya Shrine, Kyoto, and the Doshisha University symposium "The Charm of Kyoto, Created by the Beauty of Classics" in 2018 and 2019. In January 2019, he gave a performance at Doshisha University's Kyoto course "The Essence of Kyoto Culture".

Website of Yoka Nakayama

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Shunsuke Kimura

He is active as a Japanese instrumentalist (flute, shamisen, etc.), songwriter, and composer, as well as a musical director for various stage productions, including plays and dances. In his concerts of his own compositions, he develops a unique world of music based on motifs of mental landscapes and movements of the mind.
His music, which incorporates the melodies, rhythms, and Western styles of folk performing arts from various regions of Japan, has been highly acclaimed overseas, and he has been invited to perform at music festivals in 35 countries on five continents. Since 2020, he has been publishing a quarterly newsletter "Otobibumi" (essays and CDs).

Website of Shunsuke Kimura
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Ayuko Ikeda 

Graduated from Osaka University of Arts with a major in percussion. Currently, regardless of genre, she is expanding her activities both in Japan and abroad, including solo activities, recording and live support for major artists such as Takeyoshi Sato, Kaho Nakamura, and Hana*Hana, and recording for NHK's "Ocho-yan". Recently, he has been collaborating with Shomyo (Japanese traditional Buddhist chanting), playing solo in the forest, giving solo live performances, and performing at local shrines and temples in Nara, expanding the boundaries of his activities as a performer of various "ma" (intervals) beyond the boundaries of genre, venue, and time.
In 2013, she released a solo album "Kodama," which was field-recorded in Hakuba, Nagano Prefecture. She is a member of the five-woman original unit "Colloid," the unit "Futari de Uchiai" with Takashi Tajima (tambourine player), and the percussion performance group "Beat JACK.

Website of Ayuko Ikeda

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Maika Yagi  

Koto Performance
As the eldest daughter of Nobuka Nakayama, she learned to play the koto from an early age.
  Performed annually at Doshisha University Kyoto subject and Kyoto Imamiya Shrine Orihime Festival in 2019, and at the opening ceremony of UNESCO School Conference held at Doshisha University in September 2023.



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