The J-MUSIC Ensemble is an NYC-based, jazz-rooted instrumental band that is devoted to bringing new perspectives to modern Japanese music. This strikingly sonorous 8-piece band combines the elements of the electric guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums with a full horn section--saxophone, trumpet, and trombone--to deliver a full and powerful, yet dynamic, sound. Following in the jazz tradition, the horns don't play a background role here; instead, they're put in the front line, just like singers. Having already performed twice at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, live on the television show, "Checkerboard Kids" (MNN59), and a host of other venues, the J-MUSIC Ensemble is surely spreading the J-Music message across a wide range of audiences.
Formed by saxophonist Patrick Bartley while attending the Manhattan School of Music, the J-MUSIC Ensemble initially spawned as a vehicle to express a mutual interest in anime and video game soundtracks--many of which never get a proper spotlight. This music is fused with the spontaneity and soulfulness of jazz improvisation to deliver a fresh and engaging listening experience, without distracting from the intent and message of the original songs. The band has since expanded its repertoire to include music from all facets of modern Japanese culture, and has done covers of artists such as Perfume, Utada Hikaru, Yoko Kanno, PUFFY, and School Food Punishment.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble frequently features some of the most talented and already accomplished young musicians from around the world, including Daryl Johns, Max Calkin, Leo P (from Too Many Zooz), and many others. All the music featured by the band is transcribed and arranged by our very own band members, and given a flavor that is unmistakably original. With the help of highly talented composers/arrangers such as Kyle Athayde and Khrystopher Williams, the J-MUSIC library has been able to expand to contain over 100 transcriptions, arrangements, and lead sheets of various Japanese artists, composers, anime, and video game songs.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is a growing project that serves as the spearhead and pioneering force for the "J-MUSIC Alliance" - the idea of linking together Japanese music fans around the world by providing opportunities for both musicians and audiences to learn about Japanese culture through the world of music, as well as opportunities to perform and produce Japanese music. Patrick believes that by fervently and prolifically re-arranging Japanese music for jazz-like instrumentation, the J-MUSIC Ensemble can help to expose and nurture the undeniable relationship between both Japan and America's music worlds, providing the ultimate platform for a true "J-MUSIC Alliance".
11 . 18 . 14 - Manhattan School of Music
11 . 22 . 14 - Manhattan School of Music
2 . 26 . 15 - Manhattan School of Music
4 . 12 . 15 - Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Sunday)
4 . 17 . 15 - Dance Party! @ International House
6 . 16 . 15 - Checkerboard Kids (MNN59)
10 . 11 . 15 - Silvana
11 . 2 . 15 - Palisades
12 . 13 . 15 - Shrine
4 . 15 . 16 - Silvana
4 . 17 . 16 - Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Sunday)
4 . 24 . 16 - DROM
"J-Pop meets jazz? What does that mean?"
"Whether you knew it or not, we all grew up hearing these sounds - now it's time to give them the respect they deserve."