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Forty (40) years after he first Performed, while only aged Seven (7), at Kenya National Theatre (see 1973 Newspaper clipping below); Japanese jazz drummer – Shingo Okudaira, is returning to the same Venue for two (2) special Homecoming Concerts on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October.

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This nostalgic Concert series; entitled: The Return of Shingo – Real Jazz from Tokyo; will also see him Perform at Carnivore Simba Saloon on Wednesday 16th October. Shingo is pleased that his Return is a fitting symbol of Japan – Kenya Cultural Exchange, leading up to 50 Years of Kenya’s independence.

Shingo & The Force are one of Tokyo’s best Jazz groups; where drummer – Mr. Shingo Okudaira, teams up with world-renowned – Mr. Fumio Karashima on Keys, and Mr. Takashi Sugawa on Double Bass. Kenya’s own – Umoja Calabash Percussions, will also feature in the two shows at Kenya National Theatre.

Truly a musical phenomenon, Shingo released his debut album: Maiden Voyage, at the tender age of 11! Then, at the age of 24, he moved to New York to pursue further growth as a jazz musician; and lived there for 19 years, only moving back to Japan in 2010.

Throughout his career, spanning four (4) Decades, Shingo has released six (6) albums: Maiden Voyage (1978), Kilifi (1995), Maconde (1996), Alisema (1998), The Force (2009) and I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (2013).

Tickets are available in Advance from: Carnivore, Kenya National Theatre, Tamambo Karen Blixen, Tamambo Village Market, Tamarind Nairobi and on ticketsasa.com.

Shingo Okudaira (drums)

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He was born in Tokyo in 1966. Given a drum set at the age of 3 and taught music by his parents who loved music, he studied classical, jazz and African music. Due to his parents’ job, he moved to Nairobi, Republic of Kenya with his parents. He spent his childhood in Nairobi until they moved back to Japan in 1974.

After moving back to Japan, he studied jazz drumming under a drummer Jimmy Takeuchi. In 1975, he performed drums in a session at a jazz club at the age of 9, and was spotlighted as a young drum genius in nationwide TV news shows. In 1975, he held his first recital at the TBS Hall in Akasaka. In 1978, he released his debut album ‘Maiden Voyage’ at the age of 11.

When he was in a junior high school, he was invited by an alto saxophonist Toshiyuki Honda who was then a high school student to join Honda’s band ‘The Burning Wave’. Around the time, he started to participate in many jazz projects including the recordings of The Drum Battle with George Kawaguchi (drums), Jimmy Takeuchi (drums) and Donald Illy (drums). After that, he had to temporarily give up his professional musical activities in order to complete his education in junior and senior high schools, but had occasionally played in several sessions between school tasks. After entering Hosei University, he resumed his musical career by joining Mikio Masuda (pianist) Quartet and Fumio Karashima (pianist) Trio, and had an unshakable popularity as a genuine jazz drummer.

In 1991 after graduated from the college, he moved from Tokyo to New York at the age of 24 in order to pursue his further growth as a jazz musician. In New York, he gained the trust of many musicians, and was hired as a regular drummer for the band of Carlos Garnett (saxophonist) who was once a member of Miles Davis (trumpet) group. During his 19 years live in New York, he had collaborated with many musicians from his own generation to more experienced veteran musicians, including Carlos Garnett (saxophonist), Kenny Garrett (saxophonist), Dave Valentine (Flutist), Steve Slagle (saxophonist), mark Gross (saxophonist), Tim Amacost (saxophonist), Don Freedman (pianist), Duke Jordan (pianist) and Sheryl Bailey (guitarist). During the time, he held his Japan tour with his Shingo Okudaira New York Unit for several times.

After moving back to Japan in July 2010, he regrouped Shingo Okudaira The Force and has started his edgy activities with his bands as a leader and drummer, who is now recognized worldwide as one of the genuine jazz drummers.

He has released 6 leader albums by now: ‘Maiden Voyage’ (1978), ‘Kilifi’ (1995), ‘Maconde’ (1996), ‘Alisema’ (1998), ‘The Force’ (2009) and ‘I Didn’t Know What Time It Was’ (2013).

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