Orion composed by Kento Yamamoto
Kento Yamamoto (Tb, Leader)
Takahiro Yamasaki (Ts)
Takehiro Arakawa (Gt)
Shinji Mizuno (Pf)
Shotaro Kaji (Ba)
Kento Yamamoto started off playing the piano in his childhood, but changed to the trombone upon joining the school orchestra during middle school. In senior school he joined the school’s Free Hills Jazz Orchestra and discovered big band jazz. After graduating school Yamamoto entered the Nagoya University of the Arts, and joined the Jamba Swing Orchestra, competing in contests such as the Yamano Big Band Jazz Contest and Tokai Big Band Contest- where he won the prize for best soloist.
At present, Kento’s musical activities cover a wide range of music styles including big band jazz, funk, classic, pops, Latin music, and performing in stage orchestras.
Yamamoto’s musical instructors include Satoshi Sano and Shuichi Hayakawa for the trombone, Satoshi Sano and Manteru Nonoda, for jazz and pop performance and music theory, and Donald Robert Schwekendiek for jazz piano.
Kento Yamamoto currently performs at music events and live concerts mainly in the Tokai region, as part of his own band, The Crib, and in various other bands including the AUTOBAHN Jazz Orchestra and B-STYLE Big Band. He also carries out band clinic sessions and private lessons.
Takahiro Yamasaki is a saxophone player based in the Tokai region. He received his first saxophone at the age of thirteen, mastering the basics by himself.
After graduating senior school, he met Manteru Nonoda in 2005 at the Nagoya University of Arts, and became his pupil, intent on becoming a professional musician. Yamasaki began his live concert career in the same year, performing funk, jazz and Latin music at various events in the Tokai area. At the same time, he was also holding his own live performances. Yamasaki also takes part in recordings and stage big bands, etc..
Taking advantage of his strength in formidable acoustic pressure and sense of rhythm, Yamasaki is known for his melodious ad lib.
Takahiro Yamasaki has a trusted reputation, and is involved in the musical training of his juniors, often performing with junior high school students in the Tokai area.
Since beginning his professional career, Yamasaki has often performed alongside famous musicians, the experience having a profound influence on his own development as a musician.
At present, Takahiro Yamasaki performs live concerts with the AUTOBAHN JAZZ ORCHESTRA and M-JOINT, both of which he is also the leader of.
Born in 1979, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, Takehiro Arakawa began playing the piano at four years old, moving on to the guitar ten years later. In his school days he played in a cover band, centering around rock music.
At nineteen, during a year abroad language study in Vancouver, Arakawa mixed in with the local rock and funk bands, performing in live bars and venues, and became influenced by funk, jazz and other kinds of music. The following year, he entered the Berklee College of Music, studying from Bret Willmott and Bruce Saunder. Upon graduation, Arakawa moved to L.A., where he studied from Kurt Rosenwinkel, whilst performing and teaching music himself.
Arakawa returned to Japan in his mid twenties, and participated in recordings for commercials and artists across a wide range of music genres, mainly in the Tokai region. He also performed as a concert support musician for artists such as BIG HORNS BEE (Kome Kome Club), Yoshiko Goshima, Utamaro and so on.
Takehiro Arakawa currently performs as a member of the Sei Takahashi Six (Gipsy Jazz), The Crib (Funk style) and other bands, including his own, in addition to being a music producer.
Studying classic piano up until high school, Masashi Mizuno made the change to pop and jazz. At present he performs with groups such as the soul band ‘BBQ’, oldies band ‘Baileys’, and funk band ‘The Crib’. His other musical endeavours include performing with his own Jazz quartet and trio, and playing wide variety of music at various events and parties.
Masashi Mizuno also carries out his own live music events, teaches music lessons at various locations and is involved with activities for the further spread of music in Japan.
Shotaro Kaji started playing classical guitar when he was in junior-high. When he was a high school student, he switched his instrument to electric bass and played in a couple of rock bands.
He entered Nagoya University of Art (NUA) studying basic technique and music theory. He was also deeply influenced by soul music at that time.
Since graduating NUA, Shotaro takes part in both major and indie artists concerts and recordings, in addition to playing at live sessions of jazz, funk, latin, gospel and various other genres.
Kazuhisa ‘Shichifuku’ Niwa
Born in 1965, Niwa started off in his youth by wanting to be a hard rock musician. However, after being influenced by various styles of music, Niwa now performs a wide repertoire of music styles, encompassing rock, pop, heavy metal and big band jazz. Kazuhisa Niwa is an instructor at various places, including Yamaha Music School and the Nagoya University of the Arts.