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Friday, Jan. 20, 2006



New Year Jazz Festival 2006

For 40 years, Shinjuku Pit Inn has offered the best in Tokyo jazz. From its obscure origins as a race-car-themed coffee shop, it has become perhaps the single most progressive jazz club in Asia. For its 40th anniversary, the club is offering two full days of jazz picked from among the many excellent groups that have made it their musical home.

Featuring jazz nightly in simple surroundings, Pit Inn has consistently been a favorite with serious musicians and devoted fans alike.

The club also offers daily afternoon jazz, when the stage is given over to younger, less-established groups. On any afternoon, you can hear some amazing up-and-coming musicians playing a great variety of music.

Musicians who have become well-known names, like Yosuke Yamashita, Terumasa Hino and Sadao Watanabe, still play there regularly. All three play a set over the festival weekend, as will ever-popular artists like Shibusa Shirazu, Yoshihide Otomo, and Keiko Lee. John Zorn, the New York underground jazz favorite, will bring his group Painkiller to give thanks for the many times he's played the Pit Inn over the years. And don't miss the groups led by Kazutoki Umezu, Takeshi Shibuya and Fumio Karashima, who all have regular gigs in the rotating Pit Inn line-up.

As the actual club is a bit small to accommodate all its fans at once, they have rented a large hall nearby for these special two days. With 13 bands playing more than 15 hours of music over the two days, the extra space won't be going to waste.

Shinjuku Pit Inn's "New Year Jazz Festival 2006" will be held on Jan. 21, 3 p.m.-9 p.m., and Jan. 22, 1 p.m.-8 p.m., at Tokyo Koseinenkin Hall, Shinjuku 5-3-1; reserved seat tickets are 6,000 yen (6,500 yen at the door). Call (03) 3352-0381 or (03) 3352-2024, or e-mail shinjuku@pit-inn.com or music@pit-inn.com for reservations; for more information, visit www.pit-inn.com

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