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date: 31 March 2020

Watanabe, Kazumi locked

  • Yozo Iwanami
  • , revised by Kazunori Sugiyama
  •  and Barry Kernfeld


(b Tokyo, Oct 14, 1953). Japanese guitarist and leader. He took piano lessons at the age of eight, studied guitar with Sadanori Nakamure at the Yamaha Music School in Tokyo when he was 12, and performed and recorded professionally while still in his teens. After working in groups led by Isao Suzuki, Masaru Imada, the alto saxophonist Yoshio Otomo, the alto and soprano saxophonist Hidefumi Toki, and, most importantly, Sadao Watanabe, he played jazz-rock from the mid-1970s and formed the successful group Kylyn in 1979. That same year he toured the world as a guest soloist with the Japanese pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra, and in the early 1980s he took a similar role with Steps (1982), the Brecker Brothers, and Jaco Pastorius’s band Word of Mouth (1983). In 1983 he formed the Mobo Band, with the saxophonist Mitsuru Sawamura, the pianist Ichiko Hashimoto, the electric bass guitarist Gregg Lee, the drummer Shuichi Murakami, and Kiyohiko Senba; with the band he played with several American musicians and performed frequently in New York. Thereafter he continued to tour in the USA and Europe and formed a trio in which he played both electric guitar and guitar synthesizer. Watanabe toured Asia in ...

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