Kose Kikuchi saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, and teacher
was born in 1953 in Akita, northern Japan. He began his musical career
as a brass band member during his junior high and high school days. He
started as a tuba player, then progressed to the saxophone and the
clarinet. Meanwhile, he taught himself classical guitar and piano. In high
school, he formed a jazz band and began playing gigs.
He moved to Tokyo at the age of 19 to pursue a career as a professional
musician, starting in the cabaret scene. He studied the saxophone under
the late-Hidehiko Matsumoto (ts) and music theory under Bingo Miki.
He steadily established a presence in the Japanese music scene,
playing in such groups as Bingo Miki & the Galaxy
Orchestra and Hiro Tsunoda & the Japs Gaps.
He went on to back top jazz and pop artists,
and record as a studio musician. He has played
with a wide variety of artists, ranging from pop
and rock to jazz stars, including Eikichi Yazawa
(vo), Terumasa Hino (tp), and Yuzuru Sera (p).
He has also worked with foreign artistslike Sarah
Vaughan and Helen Merrill. He has performed
overseas at venues like the Montreux Jazz Fesetival
in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival
in the Netherlands, and at Australia-Japan Friendship events.
In 1984, Kose released his first leader album, Eternal Lover. Four years
later, he went on sabbatical to New York to broaden his horizons.
Afterwards, he started writing saxophone textbooks. He subsequently
formed the Sax Machines, a four-piece saxophone group, performing in
concerts such as the Yokohama Jazz Promenade. Over its 10 years,
the group also guested on NHK radio programs, released a self-titled CD
for Vira Records in 2000, and also successfully performed with the Seoul
National Symphony Orchestra as part of a Korea-Japan friendship event
Moreover, he has proven a successful and popular teacher for many
years. As well as providing tuition in person in classrooms in Tokyo,
Yokohama, and Osaka, he also runs correspondence courses, something
of a rarity in the wind instrument world. He has a long list of music textbooks
to his name, including “Play the Alto Sax” and “Play the Tenor Sax” series.
The final installment (Volume 9) of the “Play the Sax” series will be
published in 2006.
Kose plans to expand his audience with the release of new album
"My Spanish key"andReborn again..