Award winning artist, Shunzo Ohno, whose versatile playing and original compositions have touched millions of people. Considered one of the most influential trumpeters who has played, recorded and toured with such renowned leaders as Gil Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Art Blakey, and many others. Mr. Ohno has 16 recordings under his own name as a leader and has appeared on over thirty more as a sideman. His fascinating life, with his triumph over illness and adversity is the subject of a biography, "Trumpet of Hope" and a documentary, "Trumpet of Glory." Fuji Television featured his story on the primetime show "Unbelievable."
April 1, 2016 he performed in concert at the NYC Symphony Space with his recent cd, ReNew. May (Feb and March) he visits Northern Japan to re-visit families effected by the tsunami/earthquake 5 years ago. The new cd, reflects his commitment to revitalize a profound sensibility to life.
ReNew includes elements of the traditional jazz language, hip hop, spoken word, and free jazz, creating a tapestry of modern jazz that is distinctly Shunzo Ohno's voice.
Apirl 1st documentary short, Never Defeated, The Shunzo Ohno Story, narrated by long-time friend, Buster Williams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=356vjoaGbrg
Two songs from Ohno's cd, "All In One" recently won awards in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition. "Musashi", won grand prize, a first in the history of the prestigious competition for a Jazz artist to win grand prize. Also the first Japanese artist to win this award. His cd "Clare de Lune" was released in Japan April 2014 featuring original compositions with high energy, intimate solos and live string quartet.
Born in Gifu, Japan, Shunzo began his musical passion at age 13 in his local public school. By age 19, Shunzo was the leading jazz trumpeter in Japan. Working as an accomplished composer and arranger in Japan, Shunzo's career hit high gear when he met the renowned bandleader Art Blakey. He toured with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, throughout the United States and settled in New York City in 1974 at Blakey's suggestion.
The compelling Latin energy in Shunzo's playing can be linked to his tenure with the celebrated Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra. He recorded the Grammy Award- winning album with Machito and His Salsa Big Band (1983), which featured his dazzling solos.
Shunzo then joined one of his most influential inspirations, master arranger and composer Gil Evans, becoming a key contributor on tours, club dates, and recordings, including the 1988 Grammy Award-winning "Live at Sweet Basil". Shunzo made a total of four recordings with Evans, who remained a lifelong mentor to him. Returning to Japan with Super Sounds, a group that included jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Larry Coryell broadened his experience.
In 1988, he was involved in a serious automobile accident in which his teeth and lips were permanently damaged. He remained undeterred by the long recovery process, and strengthened his resolve to find a new approach to his music. He renewed his vision in performances with Wayne Shorter. Later, Shunzo joined Buster Williams (1989).
Adversity struck Shunzo again in 1996, when he was diagnosed with life threatening throat cancer. For three years, he underwent radical treatments to control the disease and embarked on the difficult road to recovery. His refusal to allow personal struggles and seemingly insurmountable circumstances led Shunzo to create new developments in his art and unique voice. Shunzo wrote and performed for the award winning documentary film for Children's Rights Organization, "TreShawn". The Min On Concert Association, a global performing arts promoter awarded Shunzo the "Min On Award of Highest Honor" which reads in part: "Mr. Ohno, You have never given in to adversity, your inner conviction unassailable. Your love for the trumpet and the exquisite music it creates is unsurpassed, its message of hope and triumph radiating from the world of jazz in New York out towards the entire world, instilling listeners everywhere the strength to live. ..."
In the last 3 years, he has conducted seminars in Singapore,China and Japan. The significant joint projects with The Howard University Jazz Ensemble at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), uniting cultures have been particularly meaningful to Shunzo.
He rallied his Grammy-award winning colleagues, John Patitucci, Clarence Penn and more for the benefit concert, "Japan's Recovery with Hope and Courage". This concert received special recognition from the Ambassador of Japan and many dignitaries.
Returning more than 16xs, he responded to a young student who remains in a refugee center, the question, "Why do you keep coming back to us?", he responded ... "so I never forget."
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