Yuto Kanazawa was born in Tokyo, Japan 1986. His childhood neighbor was a classical guitar luthier so he grew up listening strange sound of tuning note through the wall but he never knew it's the sound of guitar until he moved to Fukushima and found his father's acoustic guitar in the attic when he was 14. He played mostly rock during high school days then started listening/playing jazz when he was 18 studying at Koyo Conservatory in Kobe and later graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. He had learned under such greats as Mick Goodrick, Mike Stern, Hal Crook, Greg Hopkins and Phil Wilson.
In 2013, Kanazawa released his first album "Earthwards" and moved to New York. The album was produced by Interrobang Records featuring Grammy award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling. The song from the album "Truth and the Abstract Blues" won the 1st place of International Songwriting Competition 2013 in Jazz category.
Kanazawa also toured Japan and Korea twice with "The United East Jazz Quintet", a collaborative project between Japanese and Korean young jazz musicians, the band also released self-titled album in 2014. In the following year, he formed new contemporary jazz/pop/rock band "itellu" with a Berklee fellow singer Ai Ichikawa and released the album "Planets" from Japanese record label Apollo Sounds.
In 2016, he toured Guatemala and Mexico with Kuni Mikami, a pianist worked with Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington Orchestra. Also he formed new project Song Sparrow with a singer Miyoko Sparrow, which features both Japanese traditional music and jazz elements.
Based in New York, Kanazawa is now performing around the city including Bar Next Door in Greenwich Village, also touring and recording with multiple projects internationally.
- Earthwards Reviews
Straight No Chaser Jazz Blog