Courtesy of Sengawa Gekijou
Japan’s free jazz exponents get more respect overseas than they do at home. Jazz Art Sengawa aims to address this imbalance, strutting its stuff at a new Tadao Ando-designed venue in suburban Chofu. Led by German artistic director Peter Goessner, this year’s third installment welcomes a posse of eccentric improvisers, ranging from vocal polymath Koichi Makigami to free jazz sax lion Akira Sakata to veteran pianist Yosuke Yamashita. There will also be some unusual groupings, including one bringing together Yamashita with sax player Kiki Umezu and famed butoh dancer Min Tanaka. The event kicks off Friday evening and runs from morning till night through the weekend, climaxing with a performance of John Zorn’s legendary Cobra on Sunday night. With the support of the city, tickets are remarkably well-priced.
“Jazz Art Sengawa 2010”
Three-day festival of improvisation and free jazz with Jim O’Rourke, Yoshihide Otomo and others. July 9-11, various times, ¥4,000 (one day)/ ¥12,000 (three days). Sengawa Theater, Sengawa Avenue Hall and other venues, Chofu. www.sengawa-gekijo.jp