36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022


SXQ (Japan):

Matsumoto Kenichi - ss;
Tachibana Hideki - as;
Fujiwara Daisuke - ts;
Yoshida Ryuichi - bs;
Kimura Masaya - ts & ss.

This saxophone quintet is one of the leading jazz groups that have emerged in Japan in recent years. SXQ plays original contemporary jazz with free elements.

The group started as a quartet, which was formed by Matsumoto Kenichi in 2001 in an attempt to expand the sound palette of improvised music by involving electronics. However, the group’s experiments were not successful, and the leader came back to the acoustic saxophone ensemble and started exploring its possibilities.

Striving to develop more individual and sharper sound, M. Kenichi invited the fifth member – Kimura Masaya. Last year the Quintet released its debut album “in your head” featuring M. Kenichi’s original compositions.

All members of SXQ are creative and active personalities regarded as belonging to the elite of Japanese jazz.

In the 80’s Matsumoto Kenichi (g. 1964) studied saxophone with Matsukaze Koichi and started playing in various groups in Tokyo. He was a member of “Urban Sax”, Mizutani Hiroaki’s “Low Blow”, “Fujii Satoko Orchestra”, saxophone ensemble “Tokyo-Chu-Tei-Iki”, rock group “Original Love”, and “Sobobuki” among other formations.

In 1995-1996, M. Kenichi studied traditional Japanese instrument syakuhachi. The same year he formed “Matsumoto-Tsunoken Duo”, in 2002 – “SXQ saxquintet”, and in 2003 – “Power trio”.

The saxophonist collaborated with Ab Baars, Ig Henneman, Tristan Honsinger, Peter Brotzman, Jorma Tapio, Hano Shoji, Toyozumi Yoshisaburo, Furusawa Ryojiro, Aketagawa Shoji, Toshi Makihara to name but a few.

In 2006, M. Kenichi appeared in London Jazz Festival with “Tokyo-Chu-Tai-Iki”.

Tachibana Hideki started as a saxophonist-autodidact, later he studied with Ikeda Atsushi and Kumoi Masato.

In 1993, he left for the USA and studied music at the Ottawa University. Upon his return to Japan T. Hideki formed “AAS”, which garnered four prizes at the ”Yokohama Jazz Promenade” competition.

Currently, he works with “Itabashi Fumio Orchestra”, “Shibusa-Shirazu Orchestra” and other collectives.

Fujiwara Daisuke graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1996 (USA). The following year he released his debut album “inside your head” with his own trio.

Back in Japan F. Daisuke experimented with club music, formed trio “Phat”. With this group he released four albums, including two recorded for Blue Note.

In addition, F. Daisuke works with Detroit-based techno music group “G2G”, experiments with jazz improvisation in electronic music, initiates “quartz-head” projects with performers of electronic music.

As a member of various groups he recorded 12 CDs.

Yoshida Ryuichi started playing the baritone saxophone when he was a junior high school student and made his solo debut in 1992. Later he joined “Fujii Satoco Orchestra”, “Sibusa-Shirazu Orchestra”, collaborated with “Aki Takase Special Orchestra”.

Today Y. Ryuichi is a leader of “Black Sheep”, “Afternoon Twins”, “Tea-pool”, and “Ron-Jin”, collaborates with “Fumio Itabashi Orchestra”, “Missing Link” and other formations.

Kimura Masaya started as a self-taught flutist, and took the saxophone at the high school brass band. Since 1990, he has been preoccupied with improvised music.

In 1995, K. Masaya became a member of “Fakesweet” and “Kangaloo Note” in Sapporo, Japan. In 2000, he moved to Tokyo where he joined “Fujii Satoko Orchestra”.

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