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.