Yasuhiro Sakake (Gt)
Shota Watanabe (Pf, Kb)
Hiroyuki Okubo (Ba)
Yoshitaka Yamashita (Dr)
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.
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.
Hiroyuki Okubo graduated from the Musicians Institute, Hollywood in 2001。Studying under Oneida James and others, he learned in depth about Funk, R&B Groove and breathing 。He was nominated for Outstanding Award upon graduation. Upon returning to Japan, Hiroyuki has worked in jazz, funk, gospel and various styles of performances, supporting other artists.
Yamashita started playing drums when he was in high school. He attended Nagoya University. While at university, he joined a jazz big band and started playing jazz. He attended the Drummers Collective in New York, after graduating university. He studied various musical styles of drum set and percussion at the school.
Upon returning to Japan, Yamashita joined the club-jazz band ‘native’ and released six CDs and one EP. After leaving the band, he joined many sessions and bands.
As a member of the piano trio ‘Dear Blues’, he played at the “Festival eclats d’Email” in 2013 in Limoges, France. The trio released their most recent album ‘La Mesha’ in 2016.
Yamashita toured Italy in 2014 as a member of the band ‘TRISPACE’ and recorded in Sweden. In 2015, the band released their newest album ‘Nightfall’.
In 2016, Yamashita participated in Kaoru Tsubakida’s album ‘Mountain with No Name’ and following nationwide tour in Japan.
Yoshitaka Yamashita currently performs with a number of regular bands, in addition to various sessions and recordings in a wide range of music genres.