Big Wing Jazz Orch.History Of Big Wing Jazz Orchestra



The Big Wing Jazz Orchestra was inaugurated on November 1973 by Tasuku Yoshida as an amateur big band in association with YAMAHA. Located in Tokyo.


Big Wing at the Shinjuku Jazz Festival 73Historical first performance of the Big Wing was participation of the Shinjuku Jazz Festival held on June 2nd at the roof top of the Mitsukoshi Dept.Store.
The band held the 1st year anniversary concert at Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall on November.


Kenji Kohama succeeded the leader to Tasuku Yoshida since his transfering to Osaka because of his job.

1988 Bill Berry, Satoru Oda and Big Wing

The band played together with guest player Bill Berry (cornet) on the15th Anniversary Concert. Due to the experience of the performance with Bill Berry the band became inspired to extend its activity to the international level.

The band performed "The Bink/And How", "A Little Song For Mex","Bloose" from Bill's library and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" as an encore.

[Photo : Satoru Oda (Tenor sax) and Bill Berry at Shinjuku Central Park]

1989 Manly Jazz Festival 89

The band won the Grand Prize at Asakusa Jazz Contest and as a result was invited to and played at the 13th Manly Jazz Festival, one of the biggest jazz festivals in Australia.

The band performances there received standing ovations during the main stage performance.

1991 Manly Jazz Festival 91

The band was invited again to the 15th Manly Jazz Festival in Oct. and held four performances. Above all, the performance in front of thousands of enthusiastic audience members at the final event of the main stage punctured the band successful tour.

Grand Prize winner Big Wing

In August of the same year, the band won the Grand Prize at the 1st All Japan Amateur(non-students) Big Band Contest and was awarded an invitation to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival '92 in the USA.

[Photo : at Wakura Spa Ishikawa Pref.]

1992 Monterey Jazz Festival

The Band played at the 35th Anniversary of the Monterey Jazz Festival,the world Greatest Jazz Festival, with a great success.

All the members enjoyed taking pictures with the great artist such asDizzy Gillespie,Loui Bellson,Wynton Marsaris,Bill Berry,Bob Mintzer, Roy Hargrove,Jimmy Smith,Tony WillamsEE

[Photo : at The Garden Stage]

Monterey Jazz Festival

The band also played at the Night Club Stage of the Festival.

[Photo : at The Night Club]

Don Menza with Big Wing

On the way to Monterey, the bandheld a cultural exchange event with a university and a jonior college.

At the California State University Northridge, the band played together with Don Menza(Ts) .

[Photo : at California State Univ. Northridge]

At Santa Barbara City College, the band played for the students of a History Of Jazz course.


The band played at the final event of the Asagaya Jazz Street '95 in Oct. and was featured as the only non-professional group during the two day festival.

1996 Big Wing Niigata concert

The band played at the 1st Sunset Concert held along the seashore of Izumozaki city, Niigata Prefecture in Aug.

[Photo : at Izumozaki Sunset Concert]

Asagaya JazzStreet 96

The band also played at the openning event of the 2nd annual Asagaya Jazz Street '96 in Oct.

[Photo : at JR Asagaya Station]

1997 Big Wing at Pensacola Jazz Festival

The band was invited to the 16th PENSACOLA Jazz Festival as the 4th overseas performance of the band.

The band played at the Seville Square Stage and Cultural Centre Stage on Nov.1 and 2.

The band also had a Joint Concert with Loyola University Big Band at New Orleans , Louisiana, the Birth Place of Jazz.

[Photo : at Seville Square Pensacola]

1998 Big Wing appears on train poster

The band was played at the 3rd Metropolitan Feast held in Ikebukuro, the band's home land, sponsord by East Japan Railroad group.

BW 25th Recital

25th Anniversary Concert Titled
" Thanks To The Giants Of Jazz "
" Thanks for 25 Years Support",
held on November.

1999 Manly Jazz Fest. main stage

The band was invited to the 22nd Manly International Jazz Festival as the 5th overseas performance of the band.

The band played at the Ocena Front Stage on Oct.02 , 04 and Old Manly Boatshed Restaurant on Oct.03.
The band tour was also planned to cerebrate 10th anniversary of international cultural exchange between people of Manly and Big Wing members.

[Photo : at Manly International Jazz Festival]

Metropolitan Festa 99

Metropolitan Square Festival was held twice a year and has became regular event of Ikebkuro.
Big Wing always performing as closer of the event.

[Photo : at Metropolitan Square Stage]

The band performed at Asagaya Jazz Streets '99 with guest vocalist Kei Kobayashi, 20 years old talented male vocal.
Big Wing is very popular in this festival because the band has invited every year since Asagaya Jazz Streets started in 1995.


Jazz Club J at ShinjukuAs one of Big Wing annual gig, there is a "New Year Live at Shinjuku J". It became fifth year in 2000 since start in 1986.

100 audiences or more including standing seeing enjoy every time.

[Photo : Jazz spot J Tokyo]


Live at St. Andrew's churchThe concert in the Cathedral church was held on July for the first time as Big Wing in Japan. The concert titled "Jazz comes to the church"

[Photo : at the Cathedral Church Of St. Andrew's, Tokyo]


Manly Jazz Fest.2002The band was invited again to the 25th Manly International Jazz Festival as the 6th overseas performance of the band.
The band tour was also planned to cerebrate 20th anniversary of Sister City Committee of Manly and Taito-Ku tokyo.

[Photo : at the Ocean front main arena of Manly International Jazz Festival]


Big Wing 30th Annual concertThe band's 30 years anniversary concert held in October. The splendid harmony, well trained ad-rib solos showed that the band members grew up enough during 30 years.

[Photo : at Varsity Hall, Tokyo]


William SilkIsao Sakuma(Tp)In September, Big Wing performed at the 25th Swing Is Here!, which is the bigband festival hosted by the Society-members bigband league of Tokyo, formed in 1981. This festival was authorized in 1993 by a cosponsorship of the Suginami-ward Bord of Education. As 2004, birth 100 years of Count Basie, five bigbands joined the league performed Basie's work.

William Silk (Vocal) and Isao Sakuma(Tp) played as guest musicians.

[Photo : at Session Suginami Hall, Tokyo]


James Morrison with BWIn April, Australian global trumpet player James Morrison and the Wollongong Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra visited Japan. Big Wing and Blue Herd "N" Group band planned the one and only consert in Tokyo and held it as "Australia-Japan Big Band Battle".

Ex-Mayor of Manly city Australia Joan Thorborn and sister city committee members visited Japan in the same time came to bless this concert together.
The concert and reception party put success as Australia friendship event on a day.

[Photo : at Kinuta Public Hall, Tokyo]

2006 Christmas Dinner Show

In December, the band performed for the first time in it's history at the Christmas dinner show.
Hosted by the Tokyo Bayplaza Hotel.
More than one hundred guests enjoyed the dinner with Jazz and holiday music.


Big Wing on Manly Jazz Festival 2007The band was invited again to the 30th Manly International Jazz Festival as the 7th overseas performance of the band.
The festival was also dedicated to John Speight, the festival's artistic figurehead, who died in January this year.
Big Wing performed at the Ocean Beachfront stage and the Corso stage Sunday and Saturday respectivery.
The band also had a joint concert with Manly Selective Campus Big Band at the Fresh Water Campus Music hall on Friday evening.

[Photo : at the Ocean Beachfront stage of Manly Jazz Festival]

2008 Big Wing in Fukushima

The band made a Home-Comming Concert tour in Fukushima pref. on September.
Fukushima is hometown of Jiro Miura (Tp) and Shuya Tanji (Ts).
On 13. Sept. we held a joint concert at Miharu Mahora Hall with the local group "Go-Go Jazz Orchestra". On 14 Sep. the band also had a gig at the jazz club "Fukushima Big Apple".
[Photo : joint performance as a finale of the concert with the Go-Go Jazz Orch.]

2009 Big Wing and Manly Selective Campus Band

The band held a joint concert with the Manly Selective Campus Big Band at the cathedral church of St. Andrew's in Tokyo on January. They made a concert tour throughout Japan.
On 2007 Big Wing made a joint concert with MSC Big Band at Manly Australia.
We did the repayment of favor to having welcomed us in Manly.


 Big Wing Jazz Orchestra meets Eiji KitamuraSince the first "Summer Jazz In Musashimurayama" held on 2006, it became as an annual evet of Musashimurayama Citizen Hall.
On September 2011, 4th concert was held at the large hall which have1032 seats.
Big Wing made Eiji Kitamura , the world famous clairinet player, as a guest artist.
Over 700 audience enjoyed the Benny Goodman's swing classics.


Big Wing at Manly Jazz Festival 2012 The band was invited again to the 35th Manly International Jazz Festival as the 8th overseas performance of the band.
Big Wing performed at the Beachfront stage and the John Speight stage on Saturday and Sunday respectivery 60minutes each under the fine blue sky.
The band had welcomed to the audiences with standing ovations, dancing couple and encore.
17 musicians and MC, family include 8months baby, OBs total of 29 attendants invited to the home party at the ex-mayor Ald Thorburn's residence. It was a good opportunity for international exchange with Mayor Jean Hay and about 30 sister-city committee members.


40th RecitalBig Wing 40 Years Anniversary Concert held in September at "Za-Koenji2".
Five old-boys member joined and play "This Guy's In Love With You" from the first recital program as a special event.The band has also 4 members on the active list.
As another special event, the band played historical programs.
"Ev'ry Little Beat Helps" is the grand prize winning tune at the Asakusa Jazz Contest. "Opus ETENRAK Funk" was written by Norio Maeda for Big Wing over seas performance tune.


20th Asagaya Jazz StreetsIn October, Big Wing performed at the 20th anniversary Asagaya Jazz Streets. It was 13th participation for the band.
Big Wing performed in front of the Suginami Government Office for the first time. In the big audience fill the streets and sidewalks made the band's nice performance. The band played in a relaxed state of mind because the recital was held on 12days before.


Asagaya Jazz Streets 2015In October, the band performed at the 21st Asagaya Jazz Streets,
For the band it was 14th participation for the festival.
As year 2015, birth 100 years of Frank Sinatra, Big Wing performed Sinatra's hit songs with guest vocalist William Silk.
Although it was an event to need admission fee, about 300 audience enjoyed our music and at the end we received a standing ovation.

2016 Black-Ship festival live

In May, the band held a live performance at the 77th Black-Ship Festival at Shimoda city, Shizuoka pref. This concert was realized by co-operation with the volunteer members of Shimoda-Newport Club.
The Mayor of Newport and the Chairman of Japan-America Society Rhode-Island came to the concert.
They said that they wanted to invite the band to Newport Jazz Festival in greetings addressed to the audience and the band.

2017 Manly Jazz Festival 2017

The band was invited again to the 40th Manly Jazz Festival as the 9th overseas performance of the band.
This year Manly Jazz celebrates 40 years of bringing great jazz music to the general public. Caroline Speight, artistic director of the festival, invited the band to be a part of celebrations.
Big Wing performed at the Beacside arena and the John Speight stage on Saturday and Sunday respectivery 60minutes each.
The band had welcomed to the audiences with standing ovations, dancing couple and encore.
On May, Manly council amalgamated with Warringah and Pittwater. As a result, Manly council and the sister-city committee couldn't do anything for the visit of Big Wing. However, after the first performance on Saturday, we were invited to the home party hosted by sister-city committee members at the ex-Mayor Joan's residence. It was a good opportunity for international cultural exchange with former mayor Jean Hay and about 20 sister-city committee members.

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