Sadao Watanabe

Japanese Jazz Saxophonist

Sadao Watanabe was born in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan on February 1st, 1933 and is the Japanese Jazz Saxophonist. At the age of 90, Sadao Watanabe biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
February 1, 1933
Place of Birth
Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
90 years old
Zodiac Sign
Composer, Jazz Musician, Saxophonist
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Sadao Watanabe Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

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Sadao Watanabe Career

Watanabe was born on 1 February 1933 in Utsunomiya, Japan. His father, a professional musician, sang and played the biwa. He was attracted to jazz from an early age, in part due to the strong cultural influence stemming from the American post-war presence in Japan. Watanabe learned the clarinet while in high school after convincing his father over the course of six weeks to buy him a second-hand instrument.

In 1951, Watanabe moved to Tokyo and began playing the alto saxophone. He started studying the flute in 1953 with Ririko Hayashi from the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. He joined Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Cozy Quartet and began leading the group when Akiyoshi moved to the USA.By 1958 he had performed with leading musicians and quartets. In 1961 Watanabe's first album as a leader, the self-titled Sadao Watanabe, was released.

In 1962 he left Japan to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Studying led to a broadened stylistic scope that began to incorporate Brazilian music. During his time in the USA, Watanabe worked with Gary McFarland, Chico Hamilton, and Gábor Szabó.

Returning to Tokyo, Watanabe became the director of the new Yamaha Institute of Popular Music, a school which based its curriculum on Berklee's. From 1966 onwards, Watanabe toured Japan and internationally with his own quartet playing bop, Brazilian music, jazz-rock, soul, and pop music. He played with the John Coltrane quintet in Tokyo while the group was touring Japan 1966. By the time Watanabe played at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival he was a well-known and often highly-regarded jazz performer.

In 1969, Watanabe began working part time as a radio broadcaster, promoting jazz across Japan. From 1972, his programme My Dear Life ran for 20 years. He continued to perform internationally, including performances at Montreux Jazz Festival and Newport Jazz Festival. In 1970, he released his album Round Trip, featuring Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, and Miroslav Vitouš. Watanabe continued performing and recording throughout the 1970s and 1980s, amassing a catalogue of more than 70 albums as leader.

In addition to his musical career, Watanabe has published six photography books in Japan.

Sadao Watanabe is in charge of visiting professor of Jazz course in Kunitachi College of Music since 2010.


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