Kazumi Watanabe

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Kazumi Watanabe
Kazumi Watanabe 2011.jpg
Watanabe performing in 2011
Background information
Born (1953-10-14) October 14, 1953 (age 67)
Tokyo, Japan
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Years active1969–present
Labels Columbia, Denon, Gramavision, Warner
Associated actsMobo
Website www.kazumiwatanabe.net

Kazumi Watanabe (Japanese: 渡辺 香津美, Hepburn: Watanabe Kazumi, born October 14, 1953 in Tokyo [1] [2] ) is a Japanese guitarist. Other guitarists such as Sugizo have cited him as an influence. [3]



Watanabe learned guitar at the age of 12 from Sadanori Nakamure at the Yamaha Music School in Tokyo. [4] He released his first album in 1971. In 1979, he formed a jazz rock band with some of Japan's leading studio musicians, and recorded the album Kylyn. [5] During that year, he toured with the pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra. [4]

In the 1980s, he toured as guest soloist with Steps, the Brecker Brothers, and Word of Mouth, led by Jaco Pastorius. Watanabe created the jazz-rock/jazz-fusion band Mobo in 1983 with Mitsuru Sawamura (saxophone), Ichiko Hashimoto (piano), Gregg Lee (bass), Shuichi Murakami (drums), and Kiyohiko Senba. [4]

During the eighties Watanabe released the jazz-rock albums To Chi Ka (1980), Mobo Club (1983), Mobo Splash (1985), and Spice of Life (1987). A DVD was issued from the tour which featured drummer Bill Bruford and bassist Jeff Berlin, who also played on the record.

In the 1990s Kazumi assembled an all-Japanese line-up called Resonance Vox (Vagabonde Suzuki on bass, Rikiya Higashihara on drums, Tomohiro Yahiro on percussion). This band has released several adventurous fusion albums.


Watanabe performing in 2006 Kazumi Watanabe 20060601 Fnac 03.jpg
Watanabe performing in 2006

As leader/co-leader [6]



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  1. 渡辺 香津美
  2. Kazumi Watanabe Biography – ARTISTdirect Music
  3. "SUGIZO、亡くなった恩師「DEAD END」足立祐二さんに捧げる魂のギター「大切なメッセージを込めた」". Encount (in Japanese). December 24, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  4. 1 2 3 Iwanami, Yozo; Sugiyama, Kazunori; Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 886. ISBN   1-56159-284-6.
  5. コロムビア LPファクトリー/渡辺香津美/KYLYN Archived September 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Kazumi Watanabe, Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  7. "Kazumi Watanabe | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 17, 2016.