In 2003, after finishing a successful, steady jazz gig in China with singer Dee Dee McNeil, pianist Jack Holland, and bassist Donald Jackson, American guitarist Greg Chako moved to Japan with his Japanese wife (of 3 years) to start a new life. However, shortly after arriving in Japan, he discovered his beloved wife had terminal cancer. The shocking, all-consuming experience that followed caused a 2-3 year playing and recording hiatus. However, after the death of his wife in 2004 at age 37, he began slowly to get back into his music.
In 2005/2006 he released 2 new CDs, the first a double CD containing all-original compositions called “Where We Find Ourselves”, dedicated to his late wife. Played by a tight, swinging horn ensemble, the fresh, varied arrangements are mostly mainstream, with splashes of Latin and World music, and even a couple vocal tracks showing off Chakos` own lyrics, which are as thoughtful and supremely lyrical as his improvising. Shortly thereafter, he released his 7th CD, “Two`s Company, Three`s a Crowd”, a series of swinging duets of guitar/piano and guitar/vocal covers, some live. Seeming content to stay and develop his performance contacts in and around the Tokyo area, Chako is now focused on promoting and extending his prolific composing and recording career, with two new CD releases planned for 2007/2008.
From 1994 up till his China gig in 2001, Greg Chako resided in the sunny, tropical island of Singapore, where he recorded 4 CDs (“Sudden Impact” in 1996, “Live at Raffles” in 1998, “Integration” in 2000, and “Integration II” in 2001), released 6 videos, a documentary movie, and appeared on TV and at major Jazz Festivals in the area. His first steady gig there began in March of 1994 with The Greg Chako Trio, featuring drummer Redd Holt and bassist Belinda Moody. Then he worked with NY singer Jean DuShon and bassist Vistor Gaskin, and finally in 1995, landed his dream gig which was to last for almost 7 years, leading his own trio at the famous Raffles Hotel.