31 May 2017


Many of us have enjoyed over recent years the videos uploaded to YouTube by ragtimecave. This gentleman has recorded the wonderful jazz scene in Japan, where so many fine young players have come through the system of jazz bands in high schools and jazz at university.

One particular young star whose rapid progress we have followed with immense pleasure has been the clarinet player Makiko Tamura. She has appeared in dozens of videos with various combinations of fellow musicians.
Her playing has always been tasteful and technically very good. But I think that in 2017 Makiko Tamura has emerged as a big star, with leadership qualities as well as immense talent.

Have a look at the video filmed in Tokyo on 20 May, 2017, in which she plays After You've Gone. I find myself responding with tears of joy to what I am hearing. What a privilege it is for me to have lived long enough to hear this young musician playing so brilliantly.
And the other members of the band are very good too.

Tamura begins by playing the song (including the Verse) right through at a gentle pace. Then she doubles the tempo and plays three increasingly storming Choruses with immense fluency. Later, after fine contributions from other members of the band, she returns to trade fours with the banjo player. There is a thrilling ensemble Chorus to bring the piece to an end.

You can also enjoy a thrilling performance of Clarinet Marmalade by Makiko Tamura sitting in with The Shotgun Jazz Band when she visited New Orleans in October 2017:

I hope you enjoy the performances as much as I have.