Petition update

Save "JAZZ ART SENGAWA", Japanese improvised music and art festival!!!

JAZZ ART 実行委員会

May 1, 2019 — 

To all music and art lovers around the world
(Especially improvisation and experimental music fans)

 Please help us to show the importance of this special festival to the local government!
If you believe that public support is necessary for unique music activities, or find at least one artist in the list that you think is special, please agree with us on our project and share this campaign with your friend on social network!!!

"JAZZ ART SENGAWA" is an internationally acclaimed festival of improvised / experimental  music and art started in 2008, which was hosted by the Sengawa Theater, public theater of the Chofu City in Tokyo. In this festival, many fans were excited by a variety of artists and musicians beyond category (improvisers, free jazz players, poets, noisicians, singers, dancers, visual artists, etc. )  gathering on the stage and make improv sessions. At the same time, it had unique music programs that children can enjoy, which were also popular in the local community and loved by families. Artists also went out to perform in a park near the theater, enjoyed by as many as 2000 local people every year. After 11 years, the festival has become one of the most favorite cultural events in the city.

However, following the local government's decision to shift its role and appoint the third party to run the theater, "Designated Manager System" was applied to the Sengawa Theater in April 2019, and "The Foundation for the promotion of Chofu city’s culture and community" began running and managing the facility from this spring. 

As a result, the city and the foundation are now trying to stop holding the festival!

According to the Chofu City's explanation, the festival costed too much budget and human resource to achieve the primary mission of the  theater: "to expand the range of audience so more citizens in the city could enjoy music and performing arts". However, in our diverse programs aimed to engage with the local community, artists actively played outside as well as in the theater, held public workshops and obviously many people and children felt in favor of it. Also about the cost, even if there should be better ways to manage(including downsizing, for example), it should never be the reason to cease the festival all of sudden. 


The festival's international presence is also underestimated. JAZZ ART SENGAWA has introduced many great overseas improvisers to Japan. As a result, the name "SENGAWA" which is only a small region in Japan, has now come to be known internationally.

In fact, the partnership with Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) in Quebec, Canada, began last year as part of an official cultural exchange between Quebec and the Chofu city. Through this exchange, festival's chief producer Koichi Makigami and some Japanese artists (Phew, Afrirampo, Saicobab) were invited to FIMAV for "Japan Program", and René Lussier Quintette was invited from Quebec to "JAZZ ART SENGAWA " in 2018.

There are types of avant-garde music festivals all over the world, but "JAZZ ART SENGAWA" is almost the only one in Japan. Thus, "JAZZ ART SENGAWA" was serving as a sole platform in Japan for the global experimental music community network.
Therefore, not only will the festival continue to bring attention from overseas, but also it will continue to bring culture that connects people and develops the community. 

Please help us to tell the Chofu city the importance of this festival. We'd appreciate your support for this project.

Thank you very much!

 JAZZ ART Executive Committee
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HP 2018 2017 2016 2015(Japanese only) 2008-2014(Japanese only)

General Producer: Koichi MAKIGAMI (voice, theremin, etc. from HIKASHU)
Producer: Hiromichi SAKAMOTO (cello, electronics, musical saw, voice, etc. from PASCALS), Kiyoto FUJIWARA (double bass, from JUMP MONK ORCHESTRA, KIYOTO FUJIWARA TRIO)

Park Event Curator: Kenji OSUMI (voice, from CHIKOTSU)
"CLUB JAZZ BYOBU" Set Design & Curator: Maki NAGAMINE (Set Designer)

[Major Japanese artists who have appeared in this festival]

Legends of Free Jazz: Satoko FUJII, Itaru OKI, Masahiko SATO, Akira SAKATA, Kazutoki UMEZU, Yosuke YAMASHITA, etc.

Free music, Electronic Music, Japanoise and so on: Michiro ENDO, Keiji HAINO, Atsuhiro ITO, Ikue MORI, Toshimaru NAKAMURA, Jim O'Rourke, Yoshihide OTOMO, Carl STONE, Kazuhisa UCHIHASHI, Akio SUZUKI, etc.

Singers: CARMEN MAKI, Yoshio HAYAKAWA, Kan MIKAMI, Tavito NANAO, Phew, Etsuko YAKUSHIMARU, etc.

Japanese Traditional Music: Kosetsu IMANISHI, Ko ISHIKAWA, Hiromi NAKAMURA, Kazue SAWAI, Michiyo YAGI, etc.

Poetry Reading: Hiromi ITO, Kazuko SHIRAISHI, Shuntaro TANIKAWA, Gozo YOSHIMASU, etc.

Dancer (including Butoh): Kim ITO, Yoshito ONO, Min TANAKA, Setsuko YAMADA, etc.

Visual Artists: Ryoji ARAI, Seitaro KURODA, Akiko NAKAYAMA, Eiko HOSOE, Fuyuki YAMAKAWA, etc.


[Guest Musicians from overseas]

Tommaso CAPPELLATO(ds, electronics)


Peter EVANS (tp)

FOOD [Iain BALLAMY (sax), Thomas STRØNEN(ds, electronics)]

Heiri KÄNZIG(Cb)

Eivind LONNING (tp)

Peter MADSEN (p)

Lauren NEWTON(vo)

Reggie NICHOLSON (ds)

PET BOTTLE NINGEN [Dave MILLER (ds), David SCANLON (g), Nonoko YOSHIDA (sax)]

Chris PITSIOKOS (sax)

Werner PUNTIGAM (tb)

RENÉLUSSIER – Quintette [Renè LUSSIER (g, daxophone, composition), Luzio ALTOBELLI (accordion), Julie HOULE (tuba), Marton MADERSPACH (ds), Robbie KUSTER (ds)]


Gino SITSON (vo)

Alister SPENCE (p)

JOE TALIA (perc, ds)

Time is A blind Guide [Haakon ÅSE (vn), Lucy RAILTON (cello), Kit DOWNES (p), Conor CHAPLIN (bass), Thomas STRØNEN (ds,compositions)]

Roger TURNER (perc, ds)

VocColours [Brigitte KÜPPER, Gala HUMMEL, Norbert ZAJAC, Iouri GRANKIN (vo)]

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