– The Birth of “JazzUpTokyo.com” –

Mayumi

Mayumi(May)

Mayumi Hoshino, the founder of the website “JazzupTokyo.com”, was born in Shinjuku ward in Tokyo and raised in Saitama prefecture.  She was grown up surrounded by music aficionados, her parents, a sister, and a brother.

Mayumi started to learn classical piano at the age of 3 and spent most of her free time practicing the piano: however, she started to listen to jazz with a strong influenced by her father, who used to be an amateur bass player and loved jazz.  Along with her brother, Mayumi got involved in jazz in her elementary years and appreciated such artists as Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Horace Silver, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Dave Grusin, and Lee Ritenour in addition to American pop artists including Nat King Cole and Carpenters whom her mother enjoyed.

In the 1980s, there was a time when Mayumi enjoyed pop music from Britain and the US more, but toward the late 1980s, she went straight to what was called Fusion/Crossover music, a type of jazz mixed with rock and pop music, which more and more people in Japan began to appreciate.  Influenced by her brother, Mayumi listened to Japanese fusion bands such as Cassiopeia, and Square (T-Square), and other artists including guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka, her primary interest and passion lied in fusion/crossover music based on the West coast in the US.

What crystallized Mayumi’s passion for jazz was GRP All Star Super Live in Japan, which took place in NHK Hall in 1987.  Musicians from GRP label, one of the most exciting, and fore-running record labels in the jazz format, gathered in Tokyo and had a collaborative concert.  This live gig (which was on aired in 1987) defined Mayumi’s passion and enthusiasm for the music.

Studying in college in Tokyo and working part-time, Mayumi spent time to frequent to Tower Records to try new jazz releases and spent time to join long lines of fans to see gigs by her favorite jazz artists in better seating.

It was just around the time when Mayumi started to build her network among musicians came to Japan with her language skill she learned by herself when preparing for entrance examinations to colleges and improved later at college.  Artists she started to communicate with include guitarist Russ Freeman from the Rippingtons, and saxophonist Eric Marienthal.  After getting a job at Sony Music Entertainment, she continued to follow her passion for fusion/jazz.  She not only frequented jazz clubs in Japan but went out to the US to enjoy the music.   Jazz clubs and jazz festivals she visited include Jazz Alley (Seattle, WA), Maui Music Festival (Maui, Hawaii), and Newport Beach Jazz Festival (Newport Beach, CA).

Naturally Mayumi began growing passion for discussing about the music and musical experiences as well.  At the end of 1990s, she registered as a writer/correspondent for a Japanese website, “CyberFusion” (Jazzfusion.com), and did numerous interviews with jazz artists from the US, wrote live reports and album reviews.  Jazz artists she interviewed include David Benoit, Scott Wilkie, Paul Taylor, Jeff Kashiwa, Chuck Loeb, and Russ Freeman.

The year of 2001 became a turning point for Mayumi.  She was accepted to a graduate program in the US and moved to the country.  Since she moved to the US, her musical activities covered major cities there.  Busy with her studies at the graduate program, however, Mayumi remained passionate with jazz, and traveled even further to catch exciting gigs.

In 2013, with her enthusiasm for the music and past experiences with “CyberFusion”, Mayumi decided to open her own website to introduce jazz in the US more broadly to Japanese audiences.  “JazzUpTokyo” was born!  The fundamental concept of the website is Mayumi’s pure love for the music, and respect for the musicians.

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