7:00 pm

May 23, 2018

Award winning artist, Shunzo Ohno, whose versatile playing and original compositions have touched millions of people. Considered one of the most influential trumpeters who has played, recorded and toured with such renowned leaders as Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, and many others. Mr. Ohno has 16 recordings under his own name as a leader and has appeared on over thirty more as a sideman.

Reservations highly recommended! 607-432-2053

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Considering the dramatic twists and turns in the life of jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger Shunzo Ohno, it is little wonder that the producers of the Japanese television show “Unbelievable” chose him as a subject.  He has reached exhilarating heights, experienced unexpected lows, overcame unbelievable odds, and has risen again to surpass even his own successes.

Born in Gifu, Japan, Shunzo began his musical training at age 13 on the trombone-the only instrument available in his school.  He didn’t begin playing the trumpet until age 17, partly inspired by the film “Boy With Trumpet.”  By age 19, Shunzo was the leading jazz trumpeter in Japan.

Already working as an accomplished composer and arranger in Japan, Shunzo’s career hit high gear when he met the renowned bandleader Art Blakey.  He toured with Blakey throughout the United States and settled in New York City in 1974 at Blakey’s suggestion.  During this period, Shunzo maintained a close friendship and working relationship with the bandleader while also working with Norman Connors, Roy Haynes and the Hip Ensemble while leading his own group.  His original composition “Bubbles” was featured on Connor’s million-selling recording, “You Are My Starship,” and became a hit single, attaining gold status.  Today, audiences continue to request this favorite tune.

The compelling Latin energy in Shunzo’s playing can be linked to his tenure with the celebrated Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra, with whom he toured Europe and South America.  During his three-and-a-half years with Machito, Shunzo recorded the Grammy award-winning recording “Machito and His Salsa Big Band” (1983), which featured his dazzling solos.

Following his years with Machito’s band, Shunzo joined one of his most influential inspirations, master arranger and composer Gil Evans, becoming a key contributor on tours, club dates, and recordings, including the 1988 Grammy award-winning “Live at Sweet Basil’s.”  Shunzo made a total of four recordings with Evans, who remained a lifelong mentor to him.

In 1985, Shunzon returned to Japan with Super Sounds, a group that included jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Larry Coryell.  He performed with Super Sounds for two years, conducting separate tours with his own group and giving numerous sold-out performances.  Later, in addition to recording with his mentors Shorter and Hancock, Shunzo joined Buster Williams’ group, notably, appearing at the 1st International Jazz Festival in Moscow and continued to tour with his own band.

In between these impressive collaborations and projects, Shunzo also guested on recordings by David Byrne (Rei Momo), David Matthews (Digital Love) and Onaje Allan Gumbs (Dare to Dream).