1. Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am originally from Yokohama. My family relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin during my teenage years. I started playing guitar when I moved to the States.
2. What made you choose the guitar and who are your influences?
As a little, naive kid, I thought I could be hip with the girls if I played some guitar! I was initially influenced by guys like Jimi Hendrix and Kirk Hammett (Metallica). When I moved on to studying jazz I studied a lot of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Pat Martino, and Kurt Rosenwinkel. Beyond guitar, I was immensely affected by Miles, Coltrane, and Monk.
3. When did you first get into the scene in Japan and what are your impressions of it?
I’m not quite sure if I consider myself “inside” the scene in Japan as I still live in the States, but my first gig here was in 2006. I was aware even back then the depth and talent of the cats in Japan- especially in Tokyo. I’ve since played three different tours in Japan. (2010, 2013, and now)
4. What are your current projects?
“Mural” is my most recent release. This is a co-led trio between myself Peter Schwebs (bass) and Rodrigo Recabarren (drums). I also lead a quartet playing all of my originals called “Beautiful Round.”
5. 3 favorite albums
My favorite records change all the time but at this present moment, I wouldn’t be able to live without:
-A love Supreme- Coltrane
Aki will be playing at Hey Joe in Yokohama on Sunday, Nov 29th.