- Kazunori Sugiyama
(b Takamatsu, Japan, May 10, 1960). Japanese alto saxophonist and leader. He took piano lessons from the age of seven and played flute and conducted brass bands through his years in high school. At Okayama University, when he was 20, he taught himself to play alto saxophone. He worked as a banker after graduation and performed as an amateur for five years in Takamatsu, then moved in 1988 to Tokyo to start a professional career. There he performed with the Bop Band, led by the trumpeter Hiroshi Murata (1990–93), Tomonao Hara, Masahiko Osaka, Junko Onishi’s Jazz Workshop (1996–7), Motohiko Hino’s group Art Directions (1997–9), and the big bands of the trombonist Kenichi Tsunoda and Yoshihiko Katori. While serving, with his fellow alto saxophonist Joh Yamada, as co-leader of the group Alto Nakayoshi Koyoshi (from 1993), he established his own quartet (...