Masakazu YoshizawaMasakazu Yoshizawa was born in Japan and began his musical career at the age of nine with the accordion. He then took up piano, clarinet, saxophone, flute and shakuhachi. By the age of 19, he was working as a professional musician in studios and with major orchestras in Tokyo, including NHK Symphony, New Japan Philharmony, Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo Wind Orchestra, and Henry Mancini's Orchestra (during Mr. Mancini's Japan Tour). Masakazu Yoshizawa received his degree in the Western musical tradition from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts.
In 1975 he traveled to the United States to attend Tanglewood Music Festival and other East Coast music festivals. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he particpated in a variety of musical performances and recordings.
In 1981 Masakazu Yoshizawa joined Osamu Kitajima's group and they have released more than 10 albums. He also made a number of appearances with this group, including Technics Japan Jazz Tour, the Santa Barbara Jazz Festival, and the 1984 L.A.Olympics Art Festival. In 1988 he made his own album "Kyori (Innervisions)," released in the U.S., as well as in Germany. Following the release of his own CD he performed on CDs with dozens of artists, and released many other CDs on his own and with his group Kokin Gumi.
As an internationally reknown, multi-faceted musician, Yoshizawa was perhaps best known publically for his performances with various Japanese flutes (shakuhachi, shinobue, nohkan, hichiriki, etc.) and percussion instruments (the various taiko and tsusumi drums). Besides playing traditional Japanese instruments, Yoshizawa was a woodwind specialist, performing on the clarinet, saxaphone, and other Western woodwinds.
Yoshizawa was an active studio musician and performed live, in concert, worldwide. He was also a specialist on Hiyashi,(the percussion and flute muisc used in Kabuki presentations).
A composer for orchestra as well as many Japanese musical forms, Yoshizawa has played on many movie soundtracks including, most recently, Jurassic Park, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, The Joy Luck Club, and The Lost World. Yoshizawa has worked and recorded with Osamu Kitajima, R. Carlos Nakai, the Crusaders, Berlin, Toshiko Akiyoshi, John Williams, and Henry Mancini, among others.
In addition to his professional performances as a musician, Masakazu Yoshizawa worked as a consultant to composers, arrangers and contractors on all Japanese instruments. He gave shakuhachi lessons and lectures on and demonstrations of Japanese musical instruments to schools, clubs, and other organizations.