Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Sakata, Akira

Sakata, Akira, alto saxophonist; b. Hiroshima, Japan, 21 February 1945. Born in Kure-city, Hiroshima in 1945.

Sakata studied marine biology at Hiroshima University. Formed a group Saibo-bunretsu (Cell fission) in Tokyo in 1969, and was also performing with various free-jazz musicians. Joined Yamashita Yosuke Trio from 1972 till 1979. In 1980 he formed his trio and played a three-month tour in Japan. Besides the activity with his trio, he formed Wha-ha-ha. In May he did two-month tour in Europe with his regular trio. And in November he appeared in Berlin Jazz Festival 1981 with newly formed Sakata Orchestra which he formed with handpicked musicians. They were very successful in the Festival, which Lounge Lizards, James Blood Ulmer, Defunkt, Material, etc., also appeared. In the beginning of 1982, he formed Sakata-Sextet with an original group structure which included two drummers and two base-guitarists. Its stimulus sound filled with modern feeling can be heard in the album Trauma. In 1985 he formed his quartet and at the same time reformed his orchestra as Sakata Akira & his Da-Da-Da Orchestra. In 1986 he performed with Last Exit which was formed by Bill Laswell. In 1994, for one month in the summer he led and carried out a tour to Uzbekistan, Mongolia and China with Flying Mijinko Band formed by14 members from Japan, Africa and America. In 1999 he produced a new style folk music concert The World Music Festival - August in Hiroshima centered with Flying Mijinko Band with Bill Laswell and others. Now he works with his regular unit Harpacticoida, Sakata Akira "3" mii and also with Kesutoradamashi, by which he has been trying to combine different musicians freely. He has been working with a folk singer Hitoshi Komuro, a Wadaiko (Japanese drums) player Eitetsu Hayashi, a traditional Japanese folk singer Takio Itoh and so on, keeping an open mind to any music category. His latest work is Umi (La Mer)-Harpacticoida. Also he has been well known as an essayist with a unique point of view and writing style. He even appeared in TV and films beginning in 1981 and increasingly from 1986 on, and on stage as an actor in 1988. Recently, he is well acknowledged as an ardent student of "Mijinko" (a water flea) and his experience through breeding and observing Mijinko has been arousing many people's sympathy by his deep insight and witty talk into the nature. In 1990, having grown in intensity of his interest to Mijinko, he organized Mijinko Club and he himself became its president. In 1992 he recorded the music for TV program, NHK Special "Nano Space" and this music was released as Nano Space Odyssey. In 1994 he produced The Mijinko Exhibition at Kasai Seaside Aquarium in Tokyo. In March 1996 he published a video The Universe of Mijinko(Sony Music Entertainment).

Counter Clockwise Trip; Peking; Tenoch Sakana; Pochi; 20; Shinutokiwa Betsu; 4 O'Clock; Live-dub; Dance; Getahaitekonakucha; Berlin-28; Trauma; DA-DA-DA; Tacology; Akira Sakata vs Spherical Sound; Mooko/'Akira Sakata, Bill Laswell & Ronald "Shannon" Jackson; Silent Plankton; Nano Space Odyssey; Flying Mijinko Band:Central Asian Tour; How's That (English translation of title); La Mer/Harpacticoida; Scenic Zone; Fisherman's.com; 108 Desires; Montreux Afterglow (with Yosuke Yamashita Trio)

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