Fumi Hayakawa (As)
Yasuhiro Sakake (Gt)
Kotaro Hiramitsu (Org)
Shota Asai (Dr)
Fumi Hayakawa started playing the electric organ when she was six and the saxophone at the age of nine. She won the soloist prize at the Kobe Student Jazz Festival, when she was a member of her school’s jazz big band. Fumi joined the Blue Stars Jazz Orchestra while she was attending Aichi University. She studied jazz saxophone from Seiji Tada.
After graduating, Fumi joined jazz funk band ‘S.B.B.’, released 2 CDs and did a nationwide live tour. She performed at Blue Note NAGOYA with her band ‘Changer 5’.
In 2008, Fumi moved Philadelphia, USA, where she studied saxophone with Daniel Peterson and Will Vinson.
After returning to Japan in 2014, Fumi Hayakawa restarted her musical career with her own saxophone and organ trio.
Yasuhiro Sakake began guitar at the age of fifteen, traveling to America in order to pursue his musical studies at eighteen. He enrolled in the Musicians Institute (MI), Hollywood, where he studied for two years, learning from Joe Diorio, Scott Henderson, Ross Bolton and Jeff Richman. Upon graduating, Sakake performed in music sessions in the U.S. for three years, before returning to Japan and continuing his music career.
Centering around jazz, and including a wide range of music genres such as funk, Blues, R&B, bossa nova, pop, hip hop and reggae etc., Sakake’s activities in live shows, concert tours and recordings have received high accolades. His abilities as a composer and arranger are also held in high regard.
In addition to performing sessions, Yasuhiro Sakake has also formed the band, ‘Sakake Brothers with the Band’, with his brother, drummer Yushiro Sakake. They have released three albums to date, receiving wide recognition in music magazines such as JAZZLIFE, remix, ADLIB and so on, being selected for JAZZLIFE’s annual album recommendation.
Yasuhiro Sakake is currently actively involved in his own musical projects, in addition to SBB and performing sessions.
Jazz pianist, Kotaro Hiramitsu, was born in Togo, Japan. He started to play classical piano during his childhood. As a college student at Gifu University, he joined the New Stars Jazz Orchestra, Liebe Parze. This introduced him to the world of jazz. His teacher was Shuhei Mizuno.
In 2009, Kotaro started his career as a jazz pianist in the Tokai area of Japan. He won the 2012 Kanazawa Jazz Street Competition, and has been invited to perform in jazz festivals in Korea and China.
In recent years , he also performs jazz organ, his performance constantly evolving .
He released two CDs with his own group ’Straight Line’.
Furthermore, Kotaro works with many talented musicians and holds jam sessions in Nagoya. His colorful and vigorous sound and delicate phrasing is acknowledged among musicians and his audience. Since 2015, Kotaro is an organizer and executive committee member of the “Jazz Connection in Nagoya” jazz festival.
Shota Asai started playing drums at the age of eleven. He studied playing drumset from Takashi Ito at Yamaha Popular Music School. He joined the school brass band when he was in Junior-High/High School.
Asai entered Nagoya College of Music(NCM) in 2007. He studied jazz drum from Kazuyoshi Kuroda and classical percussion from Tomoyuki Okada, Yasunori Yamaguchi, and Yukie Kurihara.
He has been performing as a member of a classical percussion ensemble in Taiwan on a regular basis since 2010.
After graduating NCM, Asai joined the Centrum Jazz Workshop and studied jazz from Jay Thomas, Gary Smulyan, and Quincy Davis.
Since returning to Japan, Shota takes an active part in both live performances and recordings in the Tokai area of Japan. He is also a drum/percussion instructor.