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2018-12-01 10:00 pm - 2018-12-02 12:00 am

BLACU is Jazz-influenced instrumental band based in Brooklyn, New York.

A band formed by guitarist Yusuke Yamanouchi(Tokyo, Japan), drummer Sohei Oyama(Kyoto, Japan) in 2017, New York City.

YUSUKE YAMANOUCHI /Guitarist

Yusuke Yamanouchi is a Guitarist/Composer/Arranger born in Tokyo, Japan in 1978. His music education started since when he was five years old, taking private piano lessons. At the age of twenty, Yusuke Yamanouchi attended an art school based in his hometown, Tokyo. It was here that he found Bill Evans and Jim Hall’s album “undercurrent” which inspired him to learn jazz music. He then entered Iida jazz school in Tokyo to study jazz music formally. At Iida, he took many private guitar lessons and ensemble lessons from prestigious jazz musicians such as Toshiki Nunokawa, Koichi Yabori and Shyunji Takenaka. At the same time, he actively began playing live concerts in Tokyo, where he performed at famous jazz clubs, restaurants and concert halls with his group and various other renowned bands. 

After his successful career as a jazz guitarist based in Tokyo, Japan, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 to study Jazz Composition/Performance, to deepen his expertise, and to flourish his career as a musician at Berklee College of Music, for which he was awarded the Berklee World Tour Award throughout his school years. He has learned jazz guitar from the most famous, legendary and inspiring Jazz musicians in the world including of Brett Willmott, David Gilmore, Tim Miller, Tomo Fujita and Bruce Saunders, and jazz composition and arranging from pioneers in jazz such as Dave Johnson, Bob Pilkington and Jackson Schultz. He also actively participated in many concerts, benefit performances, and live music recordings. Moving to the U.S. has played a major role in shaping who he is today musically as well as personally.

In 2013, he graduated from Berklee College of Music, then he relocated to New York the most competitive city for jazz artists, where his career has flourished. He has actively started performing with many prominent musicians and groups at many well-known jazz venues in New York and New England area.

SOHEI OYAMA/ Drummer

Sohei Oyama is a professional drummer / percussionist born in 1984, Kyoto, Japan.

His first experience with musical instruments was the Japanese traditional drum called the WADAIKO when he was 6, and he started his music career as a drummer at the age of 11.

After he won the best drummer award hosted by the local YAMAHA music school, he moved to Boston, MA, where he received a scholarship at Berklee College of Music in 2004.

In the past 13 years, he has been a band member of THE RiCECOOKERS as rock drummer, recording, performing and touring in the US and Japan.

In 2017, Sohei formed his own band, BLACU, with guitarist Yusuke Yamanouchi, based in NYC, where they would perform at local bars and venues.

Sohei now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Ruby Choi/Singer

Ruby Choi is a professional singer-songwriter and recording artist based in New York. She studied under Gretchen Parlato and Theo Bleckmann at the Manhattan School of Music with a Master's degree in Jazz Performance. However, Despite her formal education in the genre, she is not always loyal to Jazz: her love for music embraces other genres, such as Neo-Soul and Electronic.

Tomoaki Baba/Sax

Musician /Saxophone player /Composer /Arranger /Art Creator

He was born in 1992 in Sapporo, Japan.

He started playing saxophone when he was 7 years old.
He attended Berklee 5 weeks program in 2007, 2008, 2009 as a full scholarship student and he was selected for Berklee Jazz workshop directed by Terri Lyne Carrington in 2010.

He was awarded full scholarship Berklee College of Music, he has been experiencing many things, performing with greatest musicians, Terence Blanchard(tp), Dayna Stephens(sax), Terri Lyne Carrington(ds), Jamie Callum(vo, pf), Sean Jones(tp), Darren Barrett(tp)

Now he started collaborating with different kinds of art for example fashion, architecture, painting, plant art, though his music. Especially, he is interested in collaborating with fashion and he has been working with the art magazine named “Metropolitan Society”. As a crew of Metropolitan Society creative team, he was modeling/styling for collaboration with Engineered Garments and own project “Lonely Traveler”. Also He started working as events producer. He produced “”Jazz Summit Tokyo Summer Festival 2015‘ as a first step of his producer career.