Mumbai Gig Preview: Yuichiro Tokuda's RALYZZDIG

7 May 2013

Aside from a daily dose of anime perhaps, we haven't had too many opportunities to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture over the years even if it has continued to entice us with intriguing approaches to art forms. This is exactly why Jehan Johar, head programmer at the blueFROG’s exclamation, "This is the first time in the history of blueFROG we're hosting a Japanese jazz band," has us excited. The guys he speaks of are none other than Japanese quintet Yuichiro Tokuda's RALYZZDIG. “Don’t miss these guys, they have mad skills,” he adds.

Even though they make their Indian debut however, the jazz quintet has long since made their indelible mark on the face of international music by winning acclaim all over the globe.

Tokuda himself has composed all 5 albums the group has recorded and even won an award in 2008 as the "new face of the year in art and culture" from the Chinese government. This was the first time ever a jazz artist was awarded the accolade, but it's not just him either. Each member of the talented band pack their own individual achievements, with guitarist Naoto Suzuki's winning the 'Gibson jazz guitar contest' back in 2004 as well as drummer Gaku Hasegawa being voted as 'best jazz drummer of the year" in the Jazz Japan Page, 2012. Not to mention bassist Kumpei Nakabayashi picking up the award for "best album and best jazz musician of the year".

They've been lauded for their deeply imaginative and cutting - edge approach to modern, progressive jazz having impressed even purists over the years. Simply put, when these guys come together on one stage, as one act, it's best you don't miss it. If you still need more convincing, watch the video below:

Words: Mandovi Menon



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