- Kazunori Sugiyama
- and Barry Kernfeld
(b Utsunomiya, Japan, Feb 1, 1933). Japanese alto and soprano saxophonist, flutist, leader, and educator, brother of Fumio Watanabe. His father was a professional musician who played biwa and sang. Watanabe was attracted to jazz at an early age and learned to play clarinet in high school. In 1951 he moved to Tokyo, where he changed to alto saoxphone and in 1953 began flute studies with Ririko Hayashi of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. He also joined Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Cozy Quartet, and in 1956, when Akiyoshi went to the USA, took over leadership of the group. From 1962 to 1965 he attended the Berklee School of Music and played and wrote arrangements for the school’s Jazz in the Classroom series. While in the USA he worked with Gary McFarland, Chico Hamilton, and Gábor Szabó (1965). After returning to Tokyo, Watanabe was appointed director of the new Yamaha Institute of Popular Music, whose curriculum and teaching methods were modeled after those of Berklee. From ...