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No.239 (7/12/13)

NANGO SUMMER JAZZ

By Guest Writer

It is not often we get top class live music in the Misawa area much less 7+ hours from the afternoon into the evening. That is why you will not want to miss the 24 th annual Nango Summer Jazz Festival Saturday July 27! Being the largest jazz festival in northern Tohoku and that it is the 24 th annual should give you an idea that these folk know how to put on a great show!

A little history: Back in the 80's Nango Village elected a mayor who was a super jazz fan. Making a long story short, this sleepy village just past Hachinohe ended up building an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by nature & beauty just for this event! Now thousands of Japanese music lovers come from all over the country to dig on the cool sounds of jazz.

Starting in the afternoon, the music begins hot and continues on well after the sun goes down when the star studded sky and stage lights rock you into the cool evening with top name bands from the USA and Japan ! What makes this so great is you do not have to be a die-hard jazz fanatic to hear some fantastic live music! You have a choice of getting there early and sitting a few feet from the stage in regular chairs provided, sitting on the steps in the middle or chillin' out on the sloping grass lawn in the back. It doesn't matter as there is not a bad sitting place anywhere!

Oh, and you really don't have to bring anything! It's a festival, so there are rows of stalls in the back selling all kinds of food & drinks. Surely while you are watching the show some great smells of festival food will be wafting in the air making your mouth water! But you better wait for a break in the action as you won't want to miss anything!

Speaking of action, here is the line up for this year: At 13:00 the Swingberry Jazz Orchestra, a local jazz band from Hachinohe , will start things off. From this point on things start to heat up with the Hidenori-Hikage Six Horns Band with Shinpei Ruike at 14:00 (trumpet, sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, trombone, piano, bass with Shinpei also on trumpet)! At 15:15 one of Japan 's most famous jazz bands: Tommy's Jellyfish Quartet (trombone, piano, bass & drums) will electrify the airwaves with cool jazz vibes!

Then at 17:00 FRIED PRIDE will hit the stage. If any of you were at last year's festival you might remember them making their Nango Jazz Festival debut! They had the whole audience rocking, brought the house down and were such a hit that they have been invited back to do it again!

The main event, ladies & gents, will be something special for jazz aficionados. From Greenwich Village in the heart of NEW YORK CITY : The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra! These 16 cats are what you would call the house band of The Village Vanguard, the most famous place to hear jazz in the US of A! They have so many Grammy nominations & awards that space here does not give us enough room to list them! Now this is gonna be a treat!

Another great reason to go is that you can save money by buying an advanced sales ticket. Just drop by Misawa ITT to pick them up. Or pay 1000 yen more at the gate. There are also discounted student tickets for junior and senior high school students and the elementary kids and younger get in for FREE! Misawa ITT has also decided to lower the price for their shuttle bus that will take you from the base and back, so no need for a designated driver!


You can sit right up close to the action!

Driving yourself could not be easier. It takes less than 30 minutes to get to Nango from Misawa Air Base. Go out the Falcon (POL) gate and start counting traffic lights. Turn left at the 13th light to get on the Dai Ni (No.2) Michinoku Expressway. At the 1st toll booth, pay 250 yen and get an expressway ticket. Continue straight-you will go past the Shimoda Mall and then the Hachinohe Kita interchanges. The expressway will merge with the Hachinohe Expressway as if you were going toward Tokyo . Get off at the next exit (Nango interchange), and pay the toll! Go to the stop sign and turn right. Go about 1 and a half kilometers and the venue will be on the right next to the Kakko-no-Mori rest stop. Traffic control will guide you to a parking area.


Or you can chill out in the back!

Gates open at 12 noon so get in line early if you want a front row seat. Large coolers and lawn chairs are prohibited. Blankets are great for the lawn area. Camping spots are available next door at the track and field site for 500 yen, just sign in first! If you need any assistance, go to the stage right admin area and an English speaker will be called to help you. Local grown Nango blueberries and CDs of the performing artists will also be available!

Don't miss this renowned international jazz festival, right here in your own backyard!

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