Umezu, Kazutoki [Dr. Umezu; Kappo]
- Kazunori Sugiyama
- and Barry Kernfeld
[Dr. Umezu; Kappo]
(b Sendai, Japan, Oct 17, 1949). Japanese alto saxophone and reed player. He took up clarinet at the age of 12 and later majored in the instrument at Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo, graduating in 1972; while still a student he played with Toshinori Kondo’s trio. From 1974 to 1976 he lived in New York, where he performed with Oliver Lake, Arthur Blythe, Ahmed Abdullah, and Ted Daniel, among many others. Upon returning to Japan he formed, with the pianist Yoriyuki Harada, the Seikatsu Kojo Iinkai Orchestra, a group which enjoyed great popular success until it disbanded in 1981; his next group, DUB (Dr. Umezu Band), also achieved wide popularity. In the 1980s he joined R. C. Succession, a popular Japanese rock band. From 1988, when DUB disbanded, Umezu led various ensembles, including the seven-piece group Shakushain (formed in 1989), an 18-piece klezmer orchestra, Betsuni Nanmo Klezmer (from ...