True Colors JAZZ

True Colors JAZZ The Extra-Ordinary Meets the World Directed by Takashi Matsunaga


A musical meeting between musicians from around the world and the extra-ordinary talents

Jazz sessions directed pianist Takashi Matsunaga where musicians with special talents will explore new territories. Concerts held in three cities will feature: Up-and-coming pianist and Nippon Foundation / University of Tokyo’s project “Searching for Extra-ordinary Talents Project” first cohort Kyle Kihira, and prodigy drummer Yoyoka, who has been playing internationally since the age of 10.
Musicians communicate not only through music but through their uniqueness as an individual nurtured by space, time, and the environment. Come experience a new world with diverse possibilities where renowned jazz musicians engage with young musicians with extra-ordinary talent.

True Colors JAZZ The Extra-Ordinary Meets the World Directed by Takashi Matsunaga

Saturday, January 4 / Monday January 6 / Wednesday January 8, 2020

January 4: Billboard Live OSAKA(Osaka),
January 6: Blues Alley Japan(Tokyo),
January 8: CIB(Kumamoto)
Admission charged at each concert
  • Wheelchair seats available

  • Accompaniment from nearest station from venue is available

  • Up to one caregiver free admission

  • Sign language translation available

  • Japanese English translation available

  • Assisting staff

  • Writing boards

Osaka Concert

DATE Saturday, January 4, 2020 (Two concerts / ticket for one-time viewing)
TIME First Concert: Open 15:30 / Start 16:30
Second Concert: Open 18:30 / Start 19:30
VENUE Billboard Live OSAKA
Herbis Plaza Ent B1F,
2 Chome-2-22 Umeda, Kita Ward, Osaka, 530-0001
Featuring Event Director: Takashi Matsunaga (piano)
Special Artist: Takuya Kuroda (trumpet)
Guest Artists: Ayako Ozawa (vocals), Kyle Kihira (piano)
Overseas Artists: Alina Rostotskaya (vocals, Russia), Jonno Sweetman (drums, South Africa), Josep Traver (guitar, Spain), Luca Alemanno (bass, Italy), Ravee Treesaksesakoon (trumpet, Thailand), Sarah Elgeti (saxophone, Denmark)

Tokyo Concert

DATE Monday, January 6, 2020
TIME Open 17:30 / Start 19:00
VENUE Blues Alley Japan Tokyo
Hotel Meguro Leon B1F,
1 Chome-3-14 Meguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0063
Featuring Event Director: Takashi Matsunaga (piano)
Guest Artists: Ayako Ozawa (vocals), Kyle Kihira (piano), Yoyoka (drums)
Overseas Artists: Alina Rostotskaya (vocals, Russia), Jonno Sweetman (drums, South Africa), Josep Traver (guitar, Spain), Luca Alemanno (bass, Italy), Ravee Treesaksesakoon (trumpet, Thailand), Sarah Elgeti (saxophone, Denmark)

Kumamoto Concert

DATE Wednesday, January 8, 2020
TIME Open 18:00 / Start 19:30
11-14 Hanabatacho, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto, 860-0806
Featuring Event Director: Takashi Matsunaga (piano)
Guest Artists: Yoyoka (drums)
Overseas Artists: Alina Rostotskaya (vocals, Russia), Jonno Sweetman (drums, South Africa), Josep Traver (guitar, Spain), Luca Alemanno (bass, Italy), Ravee Treesaksesakoon (trumpet, Thailand), Sarah Elgeti (saxophone, Denmark)

【For all concerts in Osaka, Tokyo, Kumamoto】
Program Accessibility

Wheelchair seats available / Accompaniment from nearest station from venue is available / Up to one caregiver free admission

If you would like to request the support listed above, please contact the Operating Office. We will take requests starting November 20 and will announce details at a later date.

Event Director

  • Takashi Matsunaga Photo

    Takashi Matsunaga (Composer / Pianist)

    Matsunaga was born in Hyogo Japan in 1986. At the age of 17 he made his major label debut and received international recognition after his concert with Herbie Hancock. He is the youngest artist to record a leader-album with Blue Note Records. In 2015, he was invited to play for President of Poland at the 20th anniversary of Maggha Center in Poland and composed the theme song for the center. In 2017, he toured in 10 countries around the world.

Special Artist

  • Takuya Kuroda Photo

    Takuya Kuroda

    Kuroda was born in Hyogo Japan in 1980. He started to play the trumpet at the age of 12 and by 16 he was playing at jazz clubs in Kobe and Osaka. He relocated to the U.S. in 2003 to study at the New School Jazz Department and actively played in prestigious venues around the city. His critically acclaimed 2nd album “Edge” released in 2011 was ranked third in JAZZWEEK.COM TOP50 JAZZ ALBUMS. In 2014, he was the first Japanese artists to sign with Blue Note Records and released his major debut album “Rising Son.” In 2016, he released “Zigzagger” from renowned West Coast label Concord Records. Kuroda’s music exceeds the boundaries of jazz and he has collaborated with a wide range of artists including DJ Premier, JUJU, CERO, MISIA, Antibalas, and more.

Guest Artists

  • Ayako Ozawa Photo

    Ayako Ozawa

    Ozawa was born in Kimitsu, Chiba. In elementary school she started to show difficulty in running and later in walking, and started to realize that she was different from others. After seeing numerous doctors, at the age of 20 she was diagnosed with a progressive Muscular Dystrophy. She was devastated when she was told that in 10 years she will be in a wheelchair and afterwards bedridden. However, today she spreads the message of “singing and fighting against MD” and of living in general through playing concerts at events, schools, hospitals, and elderly homes around the country.

  • Kyle Kihira Photo

    Kyle Kihira

    At the age of 16, Kihira graduated from Trinity College London with honors and received his diploma last year. From a young age, he started playing music by ear on the electric piano, and intuitively learned music theory. By the time he entered elementary school his drawing book was filled with scores of music. In later years of school his hyperacusis worsened but he continued to make music with the desire for people form all around the world to listen to his music. This April, he made his solo recital debut at the Hamarikyu Asahi Hall.

  • Yoyoka Photo


    Yoyoka was born in October 2009. She started to play the drums at 2 years old, and played her first concert at 4. At the age of 5 she formed a band with her family called “Kaneaiyoyoka.” While in kindergarten at the age of 6, she released her first CD. A video of her covering Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times” was picked up by NBC, NPR, Rolling Stones magazine, and Billboard and received high praise from musicians around the world. In 2018, she played at RISING SUN ROCK FESTIVAL in EZO. In 2019, she played her first concert overseas at Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles.

Overseas Artists

  • Alina Rostotskaya Photo

    Alina Rostotskaya

    Alina Rostotskaya is a singer and songwriter from Moscow, Russia.Her music can be described as acoustic fusion of jazz, russian folk, and classical music. Rostotskaya won, or was among the finalists, at several international jazz competitions.
    She experiments with styles, sings in russian, english and ladino, and plays with different techniques of instrumental singing (without words), ranging from jazzy scat to modern classical vocalise. In 2018 Alina Rostotskaya released her debut album Flow at Norwagian Label, it was warmly welcomed by international critics.

  • Jonno Sweetman

    Jonno was born in small town by the sea in South Africa. Influenced by his father who was a professional drummer he started drumming at a young age. His unique style that combines jazz and traditional African influences have made him one of the most recognised drummers in the South African music scene. He also loves to surf, and one can hear the influences of the ocean and Africa’s nature in his music.

  • Josep Traver Photo

    Josep Traver

    Josep Traver started playing the guitar at the age of eight. Upon turning eighteen, he began studying harmony, arranging and guitar technique at the Escola de Musica Moderna de Badalona (EMMB). By 1991, he was working as a professional guitar player while also teaching guitar at the EMB. Later, he studied classical guitar and obtained a masters degree from the Conservatori Professional de Badalona. Masterclasses with John Scofield, Jorge Rossy, Ben Monder, Javier Juanco, Pere Soto and Dani Perez.
    Recently he composed original music to be performed live by guitar and computer, it was written to accompany the 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein.

  • Luca Alemanno Photo

    Luca Alemanno

    Currently based in Los Angeles, California (originally from Lecce, Italy), upright/electric bassist Luca Alemanno is considered by critics “among the finest young modern jazz musicians that currently Italy has to offer.”
    An alumnus of the world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (2018), Luca studied and performed with jazz legends.
    Previously, Luca also earned diplomas in Classical Double Bass at the T. Schipa Conservatory of Music (Lecce) and Jazz Electric Bass at the G. Martucci Conservatory of Music (Salerno).
    In 2017, Luca won first place in the jazz division of the International Society of Bassists Performance Competition held in Ithaca, New York. Additionally, he won first prize at the 2009 European Bass Day.
    In addition to his appearances as a sideman, Luca is also active as a bandleader, with his debut album I Can See Home From Here which came out on October 9th, 2019 on Workin’ Label.

  • Ravee Treesaksesakoon Photo

    Ravee Treesaksesakoon

    Born in Bangkok in 1993.
    In 2009 he began to specialize in the trumpet and jazz after performing at the Thailand International Jazz Conference, and enrolled in the College of Music, Mahidol University, with a major in jazz. He has performed with various big bands and ensembles as the lead and 2nd trumpet.
    In 2011, performed in a big band in Germany, where he visited as an exchange student, and participated in many musical activities including the Frankfurt Youth Symphony Orchestra.
    In 2016 until right now he still perform in a Dixieland jazz band called Kitasewi Band as a lead trumpet player in many events such as Slangerup Jazz Festival, famous Jazz bar in Copenhagen, Thailand International Jazz Conference, New Orleans Jazz All Stars in Bangkok, etc.

  • Sarah Elgeti Photo

    Sarah Elgeti

    Her previous two albums Synchronize and Into the Open which was a Danish Music Award nomi-nee, both albums having been released in Denmark, Germany, UK, USA and Japan.
    Her forthcoming album, Dawn Comes Quietly, will be released in 2019.
    Here one experiences a renewal in Sarah Elgeti’s approach to composing and arranging her
    music. Highlights are sure to be a handful of larger fugal-inspired woodwind compositions, in addition to some freshlyrics with themes embracing the fragility and journey of life.
    The sound is contemporary jazz, combining power and lyrical expression with a unique transparent Scandinavian blend. From beautiful ballads, groovy Latin and bebop-inspired swing tunes with a splash of odd meters and funk – all compositions are tastefully executed and skilfully enhanced by the broad range of instruments chosen.

Related Videos

Takashi Matsunaga

Kyle Kihira

Ayako Ozawa



Presenter The Nippon Foundation
Co-Oganizer The Nippon Foundation DIVERSITY IN THE ARTS, Billboard Live OSAKA(Osaka Concert)
Special Sponsor TOKYU GROUP, TikTok
Sponsored by Facebook, Twitter Japan Inc.,Yahoo Japan Corporation, CINRA.NET,Time Out Tokyo, SHIBUYA QWS
Supported by Shibuya City, Japan Disability Forum


People with disabilities are the ones that can make changes in society. They have to be the ones to educate the general public.

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli from ILL-Abilities

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli