Tomohide “IZM.” Izumi – Mini Interview

1. Where are you from and how did you first get into music?

I was born in Tokyo. My father is a professor of classical music, but I was became aware of jazz music from acid jazz and jazzy hip hop when I was a high school student.

2. How did you start dancing and then open a dance school?

When I was sixteen I saw a dance show on TV and started dancing. I encountered a dancer on TV, dropped out of high school and walked the way of a dancer. At the time we  worked as a choreographing assistant and back dancer for concerts.
From the age of 18, I started renting a dance class studio and started teaching.
I opened my own dance studio in 2007 at Higashikitazawa station.(The station next to Shimokitazawa ), the Brighton Beach Studio. In 2015 I moved to Shimokitazawa, with Jazzy Sport’s record shop and re-opened.

3. What is Jazzy Sport?

Jazzy Sport is a group that loves music and sports. It’ s a music label and production company started in 2002. I have belonged to this label since first becoming a dancer and artist. We opened JAZZY SPORT MUSIC SHOP in Shibuya Udagawa Town in 2003, when I joined and became part of the company.

4. What are your current activities/projects?
Currently, while also the shop manager of Jazzy Sport Shimokitazawa,
I appear as a dancer in various places like Blue Note Tokyo, and overseas workshops.
I began DJing in in 2000, focusing on the music of UK JAZZ culture, mixing the essence of Broken beats and House music.
Also in Japan I went on tour  with DEGO (2000black / 4hero), Henry Wu etc and performed as a DJ.

In the future I want to do a jazz dance project with the band “JAZZ CONFUSION”
We hope to appear at some overseas jazz festivals.

5. 3 favorite albums.

◎Art Blakey And The Jazzmessengers – Album Of The Year
◎Yussef Kamaal ‎- Black Focus
◎Kiefer – Kickin it Alone

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Mr. OK Jazz is a 20+ year resident of Japan and spends all his free time wandering the Kanto area looking for jazz cafes, bars, clubs and record stores. For two years he hosted the OK Jazz radio show on InterFM Radio, currently the OK Jazz podcast. You can reach him at *protected email*