‘praying’ composed by Akane Nakagaki
Akane Nakagaki (Vo)
Shota Watanabe (Pf)
Akira Naruse (Gt)
Hiroyuki Demiya (Ba)
Harutaka Sakita (Dr)
Akane Nakagaki was born in 1982, Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture.
Akane started her musical career in the Tokai area in 2004. In February 2008, she released her first album “Yes”, on What’s New Records label. The album was nominated for the 2008 Jazz Disk Award in Swing Journal Magazine. In August of the same year, she participated in “Jazz vocal showcase VOL.1” released on Grace’s Notes Records.
In June 2011, Akane’s second album “River” was released from What’s New Records. Later the same year, she performed at Nagoya Blue Note.
Akane provided vocals for KASH’s album, ‘EVER FLOW’ in 2012. She also participated in the Kaoru Tsubakida Band, taking part in and his third album, “Cloudless Sky” in July 2012, and fourth album, “The mountain with no name” in September 2016.
Akane Nakagaki released her newest album “Lost Generation”, from What’s New Records in April 2017. She currently performs at many festivals and jazz street events nationwide, in addition to providing jingles for Japanese commercials.
Born 1988, Nagoya, Japan
Starting classical piano from age four, Watanabe grew up with the musical influence of his father, guitarist Norio Watanabe. As a teenager, Watanabe became interested in jazz and in 2003, started to study under Donny Schwekendiek.
Watanabe started performing music in public from 2004, joining the jazz funk band ‘Akamon’ in 2005. From 2009 he devoted himself to playing jazz, participating in many tours with bands such as the Wataru Hamazaki Quartet, Kaoru Tsubakida Quintet, noon and the Hideaki Kanazawa Trio.
In 2010, Watanabe took part in the recording for the album “Once upon the summer time” by Japanese singer “noon”, performing at Tokyo STB, Osaka Billboard and Blue Note Nagoya, on the recording release tour.
Shota Watanabe currently performs with his own band, in addition to providing musical support in a wide range of music genres to various other artists, mainly in the Tokyo and Nagoya areas of Japan, as well as nationwide.
Born in December, 1987, Tsushima City, Aichi
Akira Naruse started the guitar at sixteen and entered the Nagoya School of the Musician’s Institute Japan (MI Japan), after graduating from high school.
Naruse has gained experience in many music genres by performing in sessions alongside musicians such as Keith Wyatt, Allen Hinds and Kai Kurosawa etc..
He has also provided guitar music for video game soundtracks. After graduating from the MI Japan, Naruse toured Japan as a member of Den-bay Itachiyama’s national tour, performing with Masahiro Sayama and Shuichi ‘Ponta’ Murakami.
At present, Akira Naruse performs with various musicians at live concerts and sessions around Japan, centering in Aichi Prefecture.
Born 1985,Kobe City. Demiya started playing electric bass at the age of 13. He attended the Osaka College of Music, where he majored in jazz bass and studied under Tomoyuki Kimura.
Demiya began his musical career as a jazz bassist in 2005. He won the 2012 Kanazawa Jazz Competition. He now performs all over Japan and also in Korea and Spain. Hiroyuki Demiya released a CD as a member of ‘Links Jazz Trio’ with Jun Miyakawa.
Harutaka Sakita, was born 1984 in Kobe City, Hyogo, Japan. He was a member of the Konan Brass Ensemble Club of Konan Middle School, where Harutaka’s drum life began. During his middle school days, Harutaka won the Kanto Student Jazz Festival, receiving the Nice Player Award. During his high school years, he played as main drummer, winning the Japan Student Festival for two years running, receiving the Nice Player Award in the second year. While Sakita was still a student, he played alongside many famous musicians such as Sadao Watanabe, Terumasa Hino and Keiko Lee, his drum skill receiving much praise overseas, where he performed in England, France, and the United States.
Harutaka joined the Konan University Jazz Club at Konan University and played as a drummer for the Newport Swing Orchestra. He received the Best Soloist Award in the 36th Yamano Big Band Contest. He started his personal musical career at this time, providing musical support for Jazz combo, Big Band, Fusion bands and indie bands, centering his activities around live houses in the Kansai area of Japan.
After graduating Konan University in 2008, he located to the United States for three months. There, he performed in sessions with world renowned musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Justin Brown, and Joe Sanders, receiving a great musical influence from them. Upon returning to Japan, he formed the “Swing Jam Band” with Ryosuke Asai (As), Takaaki Otomo (P), and Hiroyuki Demiya (B), expanding his musical activities nationwide.
In January 2011, Sakita moved his base of activity to New York, playing drums in the live venues of New York City for various bands. In December of 2011, he participated in the recording for the Ryan Brennan Organ Trio’s album “181”, and became an exclusive artist for Cross Town Records. He attended New York City College in September 2012. However, he resigned from the college the following year in order to focus on his musical career, participating in the Ukraine tours of the Joonsam Lee Trio, in May and the Yuko Okamoto Quartet, in September.
Harutaka Sakita moved back to Japan in 2015, and is now based in Nagoya, performing nationwide in Japan.