Yoshio Toyama and His Japanese Big Bands

Jazz is big in Japan and at Sammy Rimington’s recent UK Tour gig in Chilham, Kent, I was delighted when he welcomed onto the stage to play alongside him, his close and longstanding Japanese friend, Yoshio Toyama and his wife Keiko. 

Bonds of Friendship! Sammy Rimington with Yoshio Toyama

Soon afterwards I contacted Yoshio and sent him the link to my Jazz&Jazz post
featuring the Chilham concert

 So I was even more delighted when Yoshio replied:

Dear Peter,

We are glad to being Facebook friends with you already. My wife and I are Pops and New Orleans music fans! We lived in New Orleans from 1968 until 1973 and learned jazz.

My first interest was in Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5 and 7. Later I dug Bunk Johnson  and other great New Orleans trumpeters.

Usually I play Louis All Stars type music, I like Louis’ big band style also. Click here for a YouTube of my performance of Louis Armstrong’s “Chinatown my Chinatown” with Vince Giordano and The Night Hawks at Sofia’s on Broadway. It harks back to that fantastic 1920s to 30s Big Band Sound and we were swinging hard! 

Other YouTubes that might interest Jazz&Jazz followers include performances of original Louis Armstrong chart numbers by The Yoshio Toyama Big Band and The Yoshio Toyama Plays Louis Armstrong Big Band

Very best wishes
Yoshio Toyama


Louisiana’s Times Picayune Newspaper ran an article entitled “Heart to Heart Through Jazz” featuring Yoshio and Keiko during their times spent in New Orleans. The article is no longer available online but Yoshio always welcomes opportunities to repay the Crescent City “who welcomed us and taught us 45 years ago”.

Yoshio also referred us to “From Tragedy to Triumph: The Musical Bridge Between New Orleans and Japan, highlighting a cultural exchange of music in the face of disaster.”  

It’s great to be able to feature Keiko, yourself, and New Orleans Jazz, Japanese style, on Jazz&Jazz, Yoshio. Thank you so much.
Peter Butler, Owner and Editor, Jazz&Jazz

Photos © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz

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