Jonathan Katz began writing compositions and arrangements for the highly acclaimed Nassau Suffolk Jazz Ensemble, a group featuring gifted high school jazz players from the New York Metropolitan area. Now more and more high school and university jazz ensembles in the US and Japan are performing his charts to delighted audiences. Jonathan currently writes for and leads his own 17-piece jazz ensemble, the Tokyo Big Band, which features top jazz musicians on the Tokyo scene. |
Long Island, New York native Jonathan was born into a musical family. His father was his high school band director, and his brother also went on become a music teacher and performer. His mother started him on the piano at age six and he began playing French horn in the fourth grade. Later, Jonathan would study French horn with Paul Ingraham at Yale University and jazz piano, composition and arranging with Bill Dobbins at the Eastman School of Music, where he also directed the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble and taught jazz theory with Ramon Ricker. A Yale University Concert Band tour of Japan sparked his interest in that country, and after studying Japanese language at Sophia University on a fellowship from Yale, he settled in Tokyo in 1991. Since then, Jonathan has documented his lyrical and effervescently swinging piano sound, deeply personal arrangements and original compositions on three critically acclaimed CDs as a trio leader, and worked as pianist in many bands, including those of Ray Brown, Lew Tabackin, Joe Lee Wilson and Eddie Henderson.
He is also musical director of the jazz world music group TOKYO CANDELA (www.candelatokyo.com). Jonathanís duo with TOKYO CANDELAís leader, shakuhachi innovator Bruce Huebner has also toured Japan and Europe, and TOKYO CANDELA has toured North America twice, making its international debut at the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival and Joeís Pub in New York in June 2003, and visiting New York again in 2004 to play at the Blue Note and record their 2nd CD RISE ABOVE.
In 2003, Jonathan began a cross-Pacific collaboration with alto saxophonist Dave Pietro (Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra) and top Japanese musicians Daiki Yasukagawa (bass) and Yoshihito Eto (drums), called New York-Tokyo Connection (NYTC) that has toured the U.S. and Japan. Jonathan also performs with several of Japanís top symphony orchestras, often under the baton of maestro Bob Sakuma, including the NHK Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Philharmonic.
E-mail: email@example.com Website: http//www.jkatz.net
MY SPACE: http://www.myspace.com/jonathankatzmusic