As you all know, each year we have different musical performances at Sakura Sunday. Here I will be introducing one that I am very excited to see this year: J-MUSIC Ensemble.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is a NYC-based, jazz-rooted instrumental band that is dedicated to playing arrangements of various types of modern Japanese music. Their primary objective is to simultaneously give new perspectives on Japanese music and instrumental music in general by combining the spirit of jazz with the spirit of Japan–putting the horns (saxophone, trumpets, and trombones) in the roles of singers, and connecting with the audience even more than the typical “instrumental band” experience. Formed by saxophonist Patrick Bartley while attending the Manhattan School of Music, the J-MUSIC Ensemble initially spawned as a vehicle to express a mutual interest in anime and video game soundtracks–many of which never get a proper spotlight. Since expanding its repertoire, the band has done covers of artists such as Perfume, PUFFY, Utada Hikaru, School Food Punishment, Yoko Kanno, Bump Of Chicken, and more.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is a growing project that serves as the spearhead and pioneering force for the “J-MUSIC Alliance” – the idea of linking together Japanese music fans around the world by providing opportunities for both musicians and audiences to learn about Japanese culture through the world of music. Patrick believes that by fervently and prolifically re-arranging Japanese music for jazz-like instrumentation, the J-MUSIC Ensemble can help to expose and nurture the undeniable relationship between both Japan and America’s music worlds, providing the ultimate platform for a true “J-MUSICAlliance”.