Yuichiro Tokuda is a saxophonist, vocalist, and composer. After graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Yuichiro returned to Japan and formed a band: Yuichiro Tokuda RALYZZDIG. His first album was acclaimed as ‘the cutting edge of the present progressive form of jazz’ in Jazz Life magazine. Yuichiro has traveled extensively and performed in Malaysia, China, Korea, Canada, Jordan, Belgium, France, and India. He performs every year at Japan’s most prestigious jazz festival, Yokohama Jazz Promenade, in addition to many other festivals all over the world.
Aman Mahajan is a pianist and composer, playing improvised music across diverse musical genres. Mahajan graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2007 and is based in Bangalore, India, where he leads jazz/world ensemble REFUGE and teaches piano. He has recently returned to Bangalore from a faculty position at the Global Music Institute, New Delhi.
‘Contrary to what people think, we didn’t meet or start our friendship at Berklee College of Music or abroad,’ says Mahajan. ‘It was right here at Indiranagar, Bangalore, at the BFlat bar; we met and struck a chord. Hence, this city and this venue hold a special place in our hearts,’ he adds. The Tokyo-Bangalore Jazz Quartet — featuring Yuichiro (saxophone, compositions), Mahajan (piano, compositions), Abhishek Dey (electric bass), and Jeoraj George (drums) — will continue to tour after tasting success last year.
Some very different influences come together in the Quartet’s performances. Yuichiro’s music is jazz fused with rock and makes for an appealing, cross-genre groove, while Mahajan is influenced by jazz, folk, classical, and electronic music from around the world and is deeply inspired by a sense of unity and connection. As a result, each performance is different — a delight for music aficionados and a joy to watch. The concerts feature 12 to 14 pieces: compositions divided evenly between Yuichiro and Mahajan. Yuichiro has fond memories of his last performance with the Quartet in Bangalore: ‘It was warm, the audience was discerning and receptive and full of appreciation. It’ll be fun to play here again.’
The duo hinted that the tour, which travels to Tokyo next year, may eventually culminate in an album once funds are available: ‘But right now, we want to focus on playing and enjoying ourselves. Come, join us!’
The tour will also travel to:
February 10: Phoenix Market City, Bangalore
February 13: BFlat Bar, Bangalore
February 14: Om Made Café, Bangalore (duo performance)
February 18: Shisha Café, Pune
February 19: Museum of Goa, Goa (duo performance)
February 20: Houz of Blues, Hyderabad
February 21: JT Performing Arts Center, Kochi