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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

Feb 11, 2013

An exciting new jazz guitarist, 26 year old Yuto Kanazawa, will release his CD Earthwards this week to coincide with his appearance at Sculler’s in Boston, MA. Earthwards – also the name of his backing group - will be a world-wide affair, including saxophonist Mario Castro from Puerto Rico, clarinetist Felix Peikli from Oslo, Norway, bassist Zwelakhe-Duma Bell le Pere from Connecticut (USA!) and drummer Roberto Giaquinto from Italy.

The Tokyo-born, Fukushima-raised Kanazawa has been studying all kinds of music--pop, rock, classical, jazz and folk since he was 3.  Yuto got the "jazz bug" while at Koyo Conservatory and subsequently moved to Boston to attend Berklee where he studied with guitar guru Mick Goodrick and other top teachers in honing his craft. He has been writing for this CD for several years, and in our conversation, expressed how pleased he was with the end result.

In addition to the instrumental tracks on the CD, which range from fusion-oriented tunes to more introspective straight-ahead numbers, Yuto recorded a special bonus track with jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, entitled "Truth & The Abstract Blues."  Elling, who is known as one of the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, is a “friend of a friend”, and gave Yuto a thrill by assisting the young man with the recording.

Click here to listen to Podcast 336, featuring our conversation and musical selections, including:

Yuto Kanazawa – “Floating Twice” and “The Ocean” from Earthwards. Yuto had rock & roll in mind when he wrote the first of these two songs, and the second is a lament to those who lost so much in the tsunami that hit his home town of Fukushima, Japan. Two extreme sides of his compositional style and playing approach.

Yuto Kanazawa & Earthwards, featuring Kurt Elling - "Truth & The Abstract Blues” from Earthwards. The award wining singer took a shine to Yuto, and cut this vocal track to end the new CD. Quite an honor for a 26 year old!