Under the name Kyoto Jazz Massive, brothers Yoshihiro and Shuya Okino have created some of the most innovative and energetic club jazz beats heard on both sides of the Pacific.
As impressive as the work of KJM has been, Shuya Okino’s first solo album United Legends, has been just as well received by fans around the world.
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This weekend Okino makes a stop in Ottawa during his first Canadian tour, and as Claudia Balladelli of Mercury Lounge puts it, “this is not to be missed.”
“Shuya loves to rock a good party and he’s all about playing in little clubs so needless to say the dance floor will be set on fire,” says Balladelli.
Okino has been asked countless times to define “club jazz” and his answer is as simple as his music is infectious — “club jazz is dance music influenced by jazz.”
It’s the kind of crossover music that’s original enough to stand out, yet still appeals to anyone who loves to move.
So after playing club jazz in Japan through the 90s, KJM released its first CD in 2002, and Okino quickly emerged as an artist that DJs and producers looked to for inspiration.
Proving that in this high-tech world, distance shouldn’t serve as a barrier to musicians, Okino masterfully created tracks on his newest album by e-mailing pieces of songs to singers, songwriters and producers for a unique kind of cyber-collaboration.
Ten producers and 10 vocalists from the club scene, including Fertile Ground and Bembe Segue, contributed to United Legends, and the lead track Shine is set for worldwide release soon.
But why wait for the single when you can hear it loud and live?
Shuya Okino plays Sunday at Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance at Mercury Lounge or Planet Coffee.