Fotos © by Kiyotaka Saito

Makoto Ozone

Der beeindruckende japanische Star-Jazz Pianist Makoto Ozone - in Europa von uns vertreten!

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Brought up in a musical environment, Makoto Ozone was performing regularly on television by the age of seven and soon dedicated himself towards jazz and big band orchestration.
He moved to the United States in 1980 to study at the Berklee College, graduated at the top of his class and become the first Japanese musician to sign an exclusive contract with CBS.

Since joining vibraphonist Gary Burton’s quartet, with which he tours the world, Ozone has been performing with and composing for Gary as well as many of the top international jazz musicians.
In 2004, he formed the "No Name Horses" big band. Initially intended to be a one-time project, the band had such unprecedented success that is has continued, since performing in France, the US, the UK and extensively in Japan.

In addition to his performing career, Makoto Ozone hosts a popular radio program "OZ MEETS JAZZ" (FM), is a regular guest on Japanese television, hosts music workshops for children and produces music for plays and television shows. His discography includes 19 recordings, including the Grammy nominated "Virtuosi," a duo album with Gary Burton.


Fotos © by Kiyotaka Saito, Noriyuki Soga

No Name Horses

Makoto Ozones "Small Big Band" - die No Name Horses!

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No Name Horses is a big band led by pianist Makoto Ozone and made up of leading Japanese jazz musicians, most of whom are band-leaders in their own right.
No Name Horses was formed in March 2004, for the CD recording of Kimiko Ito’s album "Once You’ve Been In Love (Video Arts Music)," produced by Makoto Ozone. Although the band was initially a temporary ensemble, brought together for the recording, Makoto was convinced that the quality of the band’s sound was of a worldwide level and in March 2005, No Name Horses and Kimiko Ito did the one-month tour at Blue Note jazz clubs all over Japan, celebrating the release of the album.

Right after the tour, the band invited the master engineer Joe Ferla from New York to record their first album, also called "No Name Horses" which was released in January 2006. The album includes the members’ own compositions as well as popular pieces by Makoto Ozone such as "Stinger" and "Three Wishes" arranged for big band. The album’s creative arrangements, the musicians’ outstanding techniques, and their powerful ensemble and solo playing are at a level rarely heard, and it is equally uncommon rare to find a big band recording new repertoire and taking it on tour.

In the same year, No Name Horses made its sensational international debut at the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) in New York, which assembled more than 10,000 musical participants from all around the world.

March 2006, saw the band’s second tour of Japan celebrating their first album, and in 2007, No Name Horses played at the "Tokyo Jazz" event, where they were credited with

"certainly breathing new life into our jazz world."
Nikkei Shimbun

In February 2007, their second album "No Name Horses Ⅱ" was released to great acclaim and prompted critics to suggest that it will not be too far in the future before No Name Horses gets attention throughout the world.

  • Makoto Ozone (Pf, Hammond B3)
  • Eric Miyashiro (Tp), Mitsukuni Kohata (Tp), Sho Okumura (Tp), Yoshiro Okazaki (Tp, Flh)
  • Eijiro Nakagawa (Tb), Yuzo Kataoka (Tb), Junko Yamashiro (B-Tb)
  • Kazuhiko Kondo (As, Ss, Fl), Atsushi Ikeda (As), Toshio Miki (Ts)
  • Masanori Okazaki (Ts), Yoshihiro Iwamochi (Bs)
  • Kengo Nakamura (B), Shinnosuke Takahashi (Ds)