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Thursday, June 19, 2008


Hiromi Uehara at Tokyo Jazz 2008

After a subpar event last year, Tokyo Jazz returns with a so-called "Glamorous" lineup. Not to be missed is young Japanese piano phenom Hiromi Uehara, who will appear twice on Saturday, Aug. 30. At her daytime event, the 29-year-old will showcase her hyperkinetic musical intellect while sharing the stage with tap-dancer extraordinaire Kazunori Kumagai. The evening session will bring Uehara's band, Hiromi's Sonicbloom, to the festival for the first time. Be prepared for some genre-bending music as the quartet play tracks from Uehara's latest album, "Beyond Standard."

Hiromi Uehara

Also check out: Bassist Ron Carter plays with his quartet on Aug. 29, and appears the next day with pianist Hank Jones and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in an interesting melding of jazz and classical music. Jones will also appear with his Great Jazz Trio during that day's session.

The setting: Tokyo International Forum is an awesome architectural landmark, although the cavernous Hall A, where all the events will be held, seats 5,012, which is a little on the large side for a jazz concert.

When/where: Tokyo International Forum, outside Yurakucho Station. Opening night is Friday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. On Aug. 30 and 31, shows start at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets cost ¥6,500 for A seating or ¥8,500 for S seating for each show. An all-day pass for Aug. 31 is ¥16,000 for S seating only. One-day passes for Aug. 30 are sold out. (03) 5777-8600; Tokyo Jazz 2008 Web site

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