- Kazunori Sugiyama
(b Osaka, Japan, Dec 17, 1960). Japanese vibraphonist, arranger, and leader. He learned organ from an early age, studied arranging at the age of 15, and took up piano and vibraphone to play in an extracurricular college big band, the High Society Orchestra, at Waseda University in Tokyo. After gaining his degree in electrical engineering (1984) he had private lessons on vibraphone, first in Japan and then in the USA with Gary Burton, the latter while majoring in composition at the Berklee College of Music. He graduated from Berklee in 1988 and returned to Japan. In 1990 he formed his own trio and orchestra, consisting mainly of younger musicians – including schoolmates from Berklee; the orchestra may be heard on Riverside Music Garden (1997, Tei. 28513). Katori has also performed with Yosuke Yamashita (from 1998) and recorded with Mal Waldron (the album Classics, 1999, Tokuma 71621). He is regarded as one of the most talented Japanese arrangers of his generation, and he maintains an active studio career. (...