James Catchpole started Tokyo Jazz Site (TJS) in late 2007 as a blog devoted to a simple quest: visit and briefly profile every jazz related establishment in the Greater Tokyo Area. The jazz scene here is extensive and diverse, including bars, cafes, clubs, record shops, performance spaces and festivals. Although New York City may be the center of jazz for live music, there’s nowhere in the world where you can hear jazz in more places than the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
That said, the Tokyo Metro area is massive, with dozens of train lines and hundreds of look-alike stations. Finding some of these tiny jazz joints can be tough, especially if you cannot speak Japanese. The aim of TJS is to help the lost jazz fan find the best spots in town, no matter where they may be.
TJS has been featured in publications including the Japan Times, Asia Wall St. Journal, The Tokyo Journal, BBC Travel, Smithsonian magazine, Departures Magazine, Jazz On The Tube and Time Out Tokyo. In fall 2008 James acted as a consultant and was interviewed for the TV program “Jazz in the City: Tokyo”, produced by and broadcast on Dutch national broadcaster NPS. In summer 2010 he featured in Singaporean TV program “Asia By Taxi”. In 2012 he consulted on and was featured in the French TV program Jazzed Out
Over the life of TJS James has interviewed many visiting and local musicians including Jack DeJohnette, David Murray, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Vijay Iyer, Ozone Makoto, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Marcus Gilmore, Gilad Hekselman, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Yagi Michiyo, Anyango, Tomikawa Masashi, Hino Terumasa and Cheikh Lo.
From March 2013 through October 2014 James hosted the weekly radio program OK Jazz on 76.1 InterFM in Tokyo, now the OK Jazz podcast. A special edition broadcast of OK Jazz can also be heard daily at Yokohama Bay Quarters In July 2016 James started hosting a new show called Tokyo Jazz Map on JJazzNet, an online radio site based in Japan that features contemporary Japanese jazz.
If you have any burning Qs please email James at