Jazz trumpeter Okoshi to perform

Toru “Tiger” Okoshi, one of the region’s top jazz trumpeters, brings his band to Maine for the second entry in the 2002-03 Bates College Concert Series, taking place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell Street. Admission is $7/$5.

Born in Japan and a U.S. resident since 1972, Okoshi is a veteran of tours and dates with such major figures as Gary Burton, Buddy Rich and Pat Metheny. He has recorded seven titles for the JVC label as bandleader and has performed on recordings by Burton, Dave Grusin and the rock band ‘Til Tuesday, among others.

He is an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1975. Okoshi (pronounced OH-koh-she) is also affiliated with Tufts University and with Koyo Conservatory in Kobe, Japan.

Okoshi took up trumpet as a teenager after hearing a concert in his native Japan by Louis Armstrong. A honeymoon trip by Greyhound bus across the United States in 1975 persuaded him and his wife to stay in this country, and an early musical break came when a passer-by heard Okoshi practicing by the Charles River in Boston and offered him a gig.

He built his reputation quickly after graduating from Berklee, touring the United States with drummer Buddy Rich and going around the world with vibraphonist Gary Burton. As leader of the band Tiger’s Baku, Okoshi established himself as a bandleader in the late 1970s and ’80s.

Okoshi’s recordings include Color of Soil (1998), Two Sides to Every Story (1996) and 1993’s Echoes of a Note, a tribute to Louis Armstrong.

The Bates College Concert Series continues on Nov. 9 with a free concert by pianist Frank Glazer, resident artist at Bates, and violinist Curtis Macomber, Glazer’s colleague in the well-known New England Piano Quartette. Later entries in the series are jazz guitarist Pat Martino (Jan. 18) and the Brentano String Quartet with Maine pianist Yuri Funahashi (March 8).

For more information about the Bates Concert Series, please call 207-786-6135.

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