JAZZ IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: OTONOWA

Please join us on Friday, November 8th at 8pm for a special Jazz in the Neighborhood, featuring OTONOWA, with Akira Tana on drums, Masaru Koga on saxophones, flutes, and percussion, Grant Levin on piano, and Ken Okada on bass. The evening begins with a young talent showcase by Koto Students of Shoko Hikage.

Since 2012, The Emerald Tablet has hosted top notch jazz evenings every second Friday under the stewardship of master trumpet player and teacher Mario Guarneri, and his organization Jazz in the Neighborhood. Please click here to see some examples of the talented musicians who have performed at The Emerald Tablet under the aegis of Jazz in the Neighborhood.

The Bay Area is home to many incredible jazz musicians who’ve devoted their lives to developing their craft and attaining the highest artistic levels. Jazz in the Neighborhood is an important step towards creating an environment where these accomplished professionals can nurture a great American art form in dignity and respect, while delighting audiences of all ages. The Emerald Tablet is proud to provide its resources, on a regular basis, to help this dream to become a reality.

Akira TanaAkira Tana received degrees in East Asian Studies from Harvard University in 1974 and percussion from the New England Conservatory in 1979. Since moving to New York, he has established himself as one of today’s most sought-after drummers on the international jazz scene. Recognized for his ability to ignite the spark of many top rhythm sections and create pure musical dialogue with mainstay soloists, his colorful interactive style has led to concert, club and recording work with jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, The Paul Winter Consort, Paquito D’Rivera, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Lena Horne, and The Manhattan Transfer — to name a few. He has played at many international jazz festivals, and has toured throughout the world. Read more and find recordings here.

Ken OkadaBassist Noriyuki “Ken” Okada was born in New York and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and Yokohama, Japan. Reflecting the fact that he grew up in multiple different cultures, Ken enjoys playing in various styles, from jazz to samba to fusion. He learned jazz when he played in the big band at Keio University as a visiting member from University of Tokyo, where he won Yamano Big Bang Contest, the largest national college jazz competition in Japan. He started playing professionally in Tokyo until he moved to the Bay Area in 2002. Since then he has been performing in jazz combos and big bands with fine local jazz artists such as John Worley, Leon Joyce, Yancie Taylor, Destiny Muhammad, Eric Bolvin and Rick Vandivier in jazz clubs and festivals. Read more here.

Grant Levin Grant Levin is a dynamic and dedicated jazz pianist based in Northern California. No style of jazz left untouched, “the list” always a length in progress, and improvisation at its most vibrant, his style is well appreciated both by listener and musician alike. He has performed with Little Anthony and the Imperials, Greg Gisbert, Michael Marcus, Madeline Eastman, Chris Amberger, Bishop Norman Williams, Akio Sasajima, Vince Wallace, Lori Bell, Larry Hancock, Josh Jones, Paula Chase, Clint Strong, Sheherezade Stone, Darrell Green, Mike Olmos, Tekanawa “Rufus” Haereiti, and many other great musicians. Levin received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently an adjunct faculty member in the music department at California State University, Chico, where he teaches jazz piano and jazz improvisation. He’s been a recording artist with Beezwax Records since 2003 and has released 3 albums, his most recent being Riego. Read more here.

Masaru KogaAward-winning, multi-instrumentalist Masaru Koga considers himself a product of the Japanese corporate globalization movement of the 1970’s. Born in Chiba, Japan, his childhood and teenage years were spent living in Japan, the U.S. and what was then West Germany. His current and longest place of residence has been the San Francisco Bay Area, where he has been a part of its musical community for the past 15+ years. Masaru has a BA degree in Improvised Music Studies from San Jose State University, where he studied and explored music traditions of different cultures. He has traveled, recorded, and performed nationally with artists such as Hafez Modirzadeh, Francis Wong, Anthony Brown, Royal Hartigan, John Carlos Perea, Wayne Wallace, Kat Parra, and Fred Ho. He is the director of SambAsia, an award-winning San Francisco-based community samba school, teaching and performing Brazilian drums, and in December 2010 received the “The Latin Jazz Corner Best Of 2010 Awards” in the “Latin Jazz Flautist Of The Year” category. Read more here.

JAZZ IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: OTONOWA
Friday November 8th 2013. 7:30 pm doors, 8 pm show.
The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (map)
$15 suggested donation, sliding scale. Nobody turned away for lack of funds.
All door donations go to the musicians! Delicious complimentary food. Drinks by donation.

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