Styles: Experimental, Free Funk, Avant-Garde Jazz
Instruments: Reeds (Multiple)
All Music Guide
Born 1949 in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
Umezu debuted while still a student at Kunitachi Music College as his own band "Seikatsu Kojou Iinkai".
Active in new jazz movement in "Studio We ", "Studio Rivbea" and "Ali's Alley "in New York City, 1974 through 1975.
He played with "Ted Daniel's Third World Energy Ensemble" "Sunny Murray Trio" "The Aboriginal Music Society" and had many sessions with musicians, like Lester Bowie, Olu Dara, Joe Bowie, Oliver Lake, David Murray, William Parker, Rashid Ali.
Upon return to Japan, formed the immensely popular "Seikatsu Kojou Iinkai Orchestra". They made 2 records.
In 1980, participated in the Donau Eschingen Music Festival with pianist Yoriyuki Harada and started to play with the rock band RC Succession.
From 1981 for a period of seven years, toured Japan and Europe extensively with "Doctor Umezu Band". They performed twice in Moers Jazz Festival. They made 8 records in 8 years.
From the middle of 80th he has been playing at "Knitting Factory" in New York, with musicians in NY like John Zorn, George Rewis, Tom Cora.
Forms the band "Diva" with three women in 1988, which disbanded after one year. They made 1 cd.
From 1989 to 1997, Umezu formed the seven-member "Shakushain" which takes its name from a legendary Ainu hero. They were touring in Japan and made 2cds.
Since 1990, has toured for four consecutive years as the third member with "Third Person" with Tom Cora and Samm Bennett. Made 2cds.
And in those days he also formed bands in NY, one was "Eclecticism" with Marc Ribot, Curtis Fowlkes, Brad Jones, Samm Bennett and Dougie Bowne. Another is called "First Deserter" with Tom Cora, Wayne Horvitz, Marc Ribot and Samm Bennett. Made1cd each.
Formed a eighteen-member klezmer band, the only one in Japan, "Betsuni Nanmo Klezmer" in 1992, and formed small klezmer, gipsy band "Komtcha Klezmer" in 1995. 3cds for "Betsuni Nanmo Klezmer", 1cd for "Komtcha Klezmer".
In 1998, he was invited from Ian Dury to have tour in England as a member of Ian Dury & Blockheads.
In 1999, he became a member of the saxophone sextet "The Six Winds" formed by Ad Peijinenburg, br. sax player in Holland with Andrew white, Mariette Rouppe van der Voort, Dies Le Duc and Klaas Hekman. They toured 2 times 1999 & 2002 in Europe and 2002 in Japan. 1 cd was released and next one will be coming 2003.
He recently formed the unique band "Kazutoki Umezu "Kiki" Band" in 1999, which blends elements of middle Eastern music, rock and jazz. They toured in Africa 1999 and in Paris & Kolon and Singapol & Kuala Lumpur 2002.