Ryo Kawasaki Group feat. Dave Liebman


Biography Ryo Kawasaki Group feat. Dave Liebman



Ryo Kawasaki
(born February 25, 1947) chose a career as a jazz fusion guitarist after spending some years studying as a scientist. During the 60s he played with various Japanese jazz groups and also formed his own bands. In the early 70s he came to New York where he settled and found steady work in very distinguished company, including the bands of Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, Chico Hamilton, Ted Curson and Joanne Brackeen. In the mid-80s, Kawasaki drifted out of performing music in favour of writing music software programmes for computers. He also produced several techno dance singles, forming his own company, Satellites Records, for their release.

In 1991 he returned to jazz and proved to be as skilled and adept as ever on albums recorded for a Japanese label but marketed in the United States by his own company. Thanks to his long and wide experience, Kawasaki is able to switch with apparent ease between hard bop and jazz-rock. His playing is notable for its fluency and a sometimes hard-hitting style.

Ryo Kawasaki was born in Kōenji, Tokyo while Japan was still struggling and recovering from the early post World War II period. His father Torao Kawasaki was renowned and honored Japanese diplomat worked for Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1919. Torao worked at varieties of Japanese Consular and Embassies including San Francisco, Honolulu, Fengtian (then capital of Manchu, now Shenyang as city of China), Shanghai and Beijing while active as English teacher and translator for official diplomatic conferences. Ryo's mother Hiroko was also multilingual and spoke German, Russian, English, and Chinese aside from her native tongue Japanese. Hiroko grew up in Manchu and then met Torao in Shanghai. Torao was already 58 years of age when Ryo was born as only child and these unique circumstances of Ryo's parents may already have hinted Ryo's later developments and wandering nature in international circuit as an artist.

Kawasaki's entire life has been marked by his innate inquisitiveness and powers of invention, both in music and science. While his mother encouraged him to take piano and ballet lessons, he has decided taking voice lessons and solfege at age four and violin lessons at five, and was reading music before elementary school. As a grade scholar, he began a lifelong fascination with astronomy and electronics (he built his own radios, TVs and audio systems including amplifiers and speakers as well as telescopes). When Ryo was 10-years-old, he bought a ukulele and, at 14, he got his first acoustic guitar. The album Midnight Blue by Kenny Burrell and Stanley Turrentine inspired Ryo to study jazz. In high school he began hanging out at coffee-houses that featured live music, formed a jazz ensemble and built an electric organ that served as a primitive synthesizer. By the time he was 16, his band was playing professionally in cabarets and strip joints. Although he continued to play music regularly, he attended Nippon University, majored in quantum physics and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree. Although he has failed to prove his main interest and intuitive belief at that time, which is to prove that speed (propagation) of gravity must be much greater than speed of light. He also did some teaching and contest judging at the Yamaha musical instrument manufacturer's jazz school. Additionally he worked as a sound engineer for Japanese Victor Records and BGM/TBS Music where he learned mixing and editing. …

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