Born: October 6, 1986 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Ami Nakazono is one of the most versatile and inventive saxophonists working professionally in the U.S. and Japan today. A relentless explorer of improvisation and compositional form, she is building her fan base and repertoire simultaneously at venues and festivals internationally. Her dense style is a rich medley of jazz and soul executed effortlessly and with impeccable technique.
Born in 1986 KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN, Ami began classical piano lessons at the age of 4. By 12 years old, she was playing the alto saxophone and joined her school brass band. After 2 years, she won the “City Solo Instrumental Competition.” At the same time she was offered a full scholarship to study music at Fukuoka Daiichi High School in Fukuoka, Japan, where she studied classical music, theory, ear training, harmony, and brass band skills. After graduation, she entered Senzoku Gakuen University, the most prestigious university in Japan, with a Jazz major. At Senzoku Ms. Nakazono studied performance, harmony, composition, and arranging and performed many concerts and recording sessions. During this time, Ami formed her own band and began playing gigs in and around Tokyo, Japan. After 2 years of study at Senzoku, Ms. Nakanozo accepted a scholarship from Berklee College of Music and continued to perform and study.
In Fall 2007, Ami moved to Boston and began her second musical journey at Berklee. There, she studied saxophone with Walter Beasley, Dino Govoni, Bill Pierce, Shannon LeClaire and Jeff Harrington, and flute with Mia Olson. She enrolled in a five-week training program for musicians, directed by George W Russell Jr. in 2008. Mr. Russell became a mentor and inspiration for Ami and the two worked on several collaborations during this period. In addition, Ms. Nakazono began performing internationally with the acclaimed band, Violette, headed by French jazz singer / songwriter, Violette De Bartillat. In 2010 Ms. Nakazono recorded for two critically praised albums, “Joie de Vivre” with Violette and “Shine” with George W Russell Jr. Ami is also an active member of the famous Boston entertainment group, “Raw Ambition.”
Currently, Ami Nakazono continues to perform prestigious venues and festivals across the U.S. and has started work on several up-coming albums, including her first album “Soleil” by Brian M Bacchus.