Saco Yasuma
  New York-based saxophonist and composer Saco Yasuma has been noted for her strong originality in playing and writing. She has embarked on her latest journey, transcending conventional musical genres: form, harmony and time. Her new release “Another Rain” is a testimony of this evolution. Her intention is completely expressed through a multi-talented ensemble, Roy Campbell Jr. on trumpet, Andrew Bemkey on piano and bass clarinet, Ken Filiano on bass and Michael T. A. Thompson on drums.

“Another Rain,” features three pieces about water and people. The title tune “Another Rain” expresses that the trouble which we face in our daily lives is like another rain. It bothers us when we don’t want rain, but we also know it cleanses us, nurtures us and refreshes us, and gives us a hope for another beautiful day. “Calm Water” is the water which is calm like a big river or lake, and also the water which makes us stay calm and peaceful. We might keep it in our pocket and take it out when we need it, and chill out. “Liquid Entity” is about ourselves. We are liquid entity. We are free to flow out of our body, shapeless and frameless, enjoying the freedom. The ensemble develops her melodic themes, then bring them back home. Their interplay weaves a colorful tapestry in a dialogue of love and trust.

Saco started studied classical piano at age six with her father. As a young student of music, she wrote songs, piano pieces and arrangements of pop songs for school chorus groups when she was in her early teens. She was an active keyboardist in rock, funk and reggae groups and worked with singer- songwriters in Tokyo until she came to New York in 1989. In New York, she fell in love with the concept of Jazz: its freedom of expression, improvisational elements and throbbing swing rhythms. She studied the saxophone and performed in Jazz, Brazilian, Salsa and Afro-pop bands. Around the year 2000, she began composing regularly, and realized that all her musical experiences, including the Japanese traditional sounds of her childhood found their way into her writing. She discovered that free Jazz was the ultimate form of improvisation for her, when she was invited to play with free jazz players in the NYC downtown scene. Free jazz became another ingredient in Saco’s musical stew, as musicians and fans really began to take notice of her unique voice.

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