Yosuke Onuma

Artist Website


Yosuke Onuma is one of Japan’s foremost jazz guitarists.
He started to play the guitar at the age of fourteen under the influence from his father. In 1999, he won the grand prize at the Gibson Jazz Guitar Competition in Japan,and In 2001, he came out with his debut album, “nu jazz,” through Sony Music Japan. After releasing three groove jazz albums, in 2004 Onuma released his ground-breaking fourth album, “The Three Primary Colors,” recorded as a trio with Richard Bona (bass) and Ari Hoenig (drums) in New York. This highly acclaimed album showed a change in Onuma’s style which still holds to this day; a style characterized by exclusively using finger-picking – abandoning the use of a guitar pick entirely.
After residing in seaside from 2007, Onuma was fascinated by surfing. It became the other important part of his life besides the guitar. Taking inspiration from the ride on the surf, he released his sixth album, “Beautiful Day.” He worked on this album with engineer Al Schmitt in the surf-culture mecca of beachside Los Angeles. In 2010, Onuma recorded his seventh album “Jam Ka” in New York with Guadeloupean musicians using a Caribbean rhythm from Guadeloupe called “gwo ka.” He has played with the band at Blue Note NY and Blue Note Tokyo in the same year. Onuma has, in fact, created a fresh sound, not only a fusion of creole music with his many years of experiences of groove jazz but also a perfect union of the sounds of the sea and the music of the guitar.
In 2014, Onuma has released “GNJ,” his ninth album under the concept of organic jazz with fine Japanese musicians.
Onuma came back to Jam Ka project in 2016. He made a recording of the second Jam Ka album “Jam Ka Deux” in Paris with a producer Jacques Schwarz-bart. Most of the previous members are reunited for the first time in six years. New talent Grégory Privat on piano contributed to the album remarkably. Herve Samb and Simone Schwarz-bart as guest performers. After releasing the albums, Yosuke and Jam Ka band has made a tour in Japan, Munich and three times in Paris. The band has been invited to Martinique Jazz Festival 2018. Yosuke Onuma is the first Japanese musician who played at the festival in their history.
His new work “Jam Ka 2.5 The Tokyo Session” (2019) is a studio session album which the band has recorded right after their Japan tour in 2017. It contains 5 tracks from “Jam Ka” and “Jam Ka Deux” including a medley duet with Grégory Privat featuring his composition “Le Bonheur” and a free improvised track. The album title represents the music on the way to the next step.
Yosuke Onuma “Jam Ka” Quartet featuring Reggie Washington, Sonny Troupé and Grégory Privat plan to the Japan tour in August 2019.
official web site

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