Deems Press Release
Deems to appear at Panama Hotel Jazz Concert
July 12, 2013
DEEMS Voted Best Local Musician
J-Town Records is proud to announce that the International Examiner's First Annual Northwest Asian Pacific American Reader’s Choice 2010 has voted Deems Tsutakawa as the best local musician/band.
See excerpt below:
Review: Tsutakawas' compelling works are shown together in Seattle exhibition
The NVC Foundation Proudly Presents
A Benefit for the Japanese American Memorial Wall Fund
Release of "ON IRVING STREET"
J-Town Records announces the release of a new epoch-making CD recording On Irving Street by the group Deems. On Irving Street is exquisitely played. It is a finely wrought, finely executed prime example of the post modern state of the music recording art. This issue is a clear and significant upward marker in the evolution of Jazz in the Northwest and it sets the bar much much higher for a combination of three reasons:
One - It
has the authentic and authoritative Northwest interpretive creative
viewpoint and contribution in the singularly wonderful activity of
spontaneous composition art called Jazz.
The arrangement and production by
Deems and the sterling, inventive co-production and
engineering by Tim Horiuchi is exceptional. It sets the bar
much higher in the evolution of Jazz and all music homegrown and released
from the Northwest U.S. The better the sound system that it is played back
on, the better and better it sounds. It is one of those rare issues that
make one's eyes gleam and head shake..."Am I really hearing this?"
Deems On Irving Street JT8800 will be available worldwide for digital distribution starting February 2010.
Deems Tsutakawa To Receive 2009 Pioneer in Music Award
PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release
Seattle P-I article on Marcus TsutakawaSEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
Applause for Garfield's popular orchestra conductor
Students, alumni, fans take time to laud Tsutakawa
Saturday, June 17, 2006
By R.M. CAMPBELL
In a day when classical music programs are routinely cut or marginalized across the country, the one at Garfield High School is thriving. Marcus Tsutakawa is the reason why.
He has become famous in the city for the breadth and depth of his work, but he carries the weight of his reputation without undue pride or self-consciousness. Rather than take credit, he gestures, in thanks, to his students, their parents and Seattle Public Schools.
For those who know and treasure him as conductor of the Garfield Orchestra, inspiring hundreds of student musicians over two decades, his modesty is typical of the man -- quietly confident, passionate about what he does, always working to make the orchestra better.
He is inspirational, said Gerard Schwarz, music director of the Seattle Symphony, who has created multiple ventures between his orchestra and Tsutakawa and his program. "His orchestra is one of the best in the country. He is a champion of arts education who gets everyone involved. As for the kids, I am not sure how Marcus inspires them, but he does. They respond to him."
Under his leadership, the Garfield Orchestra is seemingly ubiquitous in Seattle: Benaroya Hall and Meany Hall to Ballard High School, Seattle First Baptist Church and Washington Middle School to the Northwest Folklife Festival. And there are multiple tours outside Seattle -- to North American cities, to Europe, to Asia.
Next season, the orchestra makes its debut at Orchestra Hall in Boston and the following year returns to Japan. For more than a decade, the orchestra has been winning top awards and honors and competitions locally, regionally, nationally, even internationally. Most of the standard-bearers of the Western classical music canon are represented in the orchestra's repertory, as well as Strauss waltzes, a specialty of Garfield. The orchestra also has a list of corporate sponsors that would make any arts organization happy.
Little wonder St. Demetrios Hall in Montlake will be packed Sunday night with alumni of the orchestra -- including many scattered across the country -- their parents and friends, teachers, all joining together in celebration, and a little roasting, of the man and what he has achieved.
"Marcus is amazing because he can bring out the best in any student," said Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby, who knows something about music and teaching music. The piccolo player is one of the Seattle Symphony's most accomplished musicians and a parent of two who played in the Garfield Orchestra and currently are music majors at prestigious colleges.
"Now, he gets a lot of great students who seek out the orchestra," she said. "It is relatively easy working with kids who have talent but not so easy with those who have less. Marcus can work with all ranges and inspire them to do their best. He does it very quietly, not by force of personality. He has these standards, and the kids don't want to disappoint him. They want to do their best. I have seen kids start at a rather elementary level and zoom upward with Marcus. That is what sets him apart."
Niles Gunderson, principal cellist with the Garfield Orchestra, sums up his feelings simply, calling Tsutakawa "great."
"Working with him is a constant pleasure. He is affable, with a quiet kind of charisma, who has a very critical ear and knows how to fix problems. But he does it in a very tactful way that doesn't embarrass people. Not only does the orchestra offer tremendous exposure to the repertory, it is such a supportive environment."
A senior, Gunderson is on his way to New York this fall to study at the Manhattan School of Music.
Aase Cohen-Kiel, who occupies the principal oboe chair, echoes Gunderson's sentiments, calling Tsutakawa "amazing," adding he is "really good at personal relationships. You don't get nervous with him, he is so laid-back and easy. I look forward to playing with him every day. He is positive, helpful and doesn't get mad, although he can be stressed out before a concert."
When Cohen-Kiel, a junior, leaves Garfield, she plans to study chemistry.
Garfield High School has long been known as one of the city's most diverse and intellectually challenging public schools, with well-established jazz and band programs. Its orchestra division was once barely alive. When Tsutakawa arrived, in 1985, there were only a handful of students, not enough to make even a small chamber orchestra.
From that modest beginning, there are now three orchestras in the program, all under Tsutakawa's direction: Chamber Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, comprising a total of about 160 students. There are also several wind ensembles and string quartets. With its constant stream of concerts outside the corridors of Garfield, recordings and radio appearances, the 75-member Symphony Orchestra is the public face of the program.
A Seattle product, Tsutakawa grew up in a cultivated household. His father was the well-known sculptor George Tsutakawa. His siblings all became professionally involved in the arts: sister Miyumi as a writer and brothers Deems as a pianist and Gerard as a sculptor.
"My main instrument was the string bass," he said. His teachers included members of the SSO double bass section. From high school, he went to the University of Oregon, then University of Washington as a music major with an emphasis in composition, graduating in 1979. Looking frankly at his future, he decided to get a teaching certificate just in case nothing else worked out. He got jobs right away in Seattle schools, but then they would evaporate with budget cuts -- the last hired being the first laid off. He began to work on his master's degree and, in the fall of 1985, he started at Garfield.
"The soil at Garfield was rich but had not been cultivated," he said. And so Tsutakawa got to work to make the orchestra "fun," to use his word, and interesting and compelling, so students would sign up. And they did.
"I didn't have a game plan in 1985. This was my new job. I didn't have any expectations because the program was so small, but I learned a lot from the kids. They were so receptive. We dug in and got to work, playing the literature, not school arrangements of the literature. And the kids began to have fun. The repertory went from there to encompass Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Dvorak."
Tsutakawa's connection with the Seattle Symphony, including sitting on its board of trustees, has provided the whole of the Garfield orchestral program impetus: joint concerts to tutoring to associations with professional musicians they would not have otherwise.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Tsutakawa said, all Seattle schools had vibrant music programs. Then with a series of levy defeats, funds diminished and arts programs began to get cut. Now, many schools have little or no music in the classroom. Among the best ones, in the upper grades, beside Garfield, he said, are Roosevelt High School and Newport High School in Bellevue.
"I am grateful that Garfield has such a tremendous program. I wish all schools had something similar."
Even with all of its many successes, the orchestra is not rich. The school district provides only about $500 to $1,000 annually to the program. The rest comes from donations -- parents, friends of the orchestra, corporate sponsors -- and fundraising projects that can range from selling greeting cards, doughnuts and poinsettias to the usual car washes, as well as giving benefit concerts. Its waltz concerts are particularly popular. The extra money is used buy music and instruments and provide help to students whose parents cannot afford to pay for trips. The orchestra is currently raising money to buy a harp at $12,000 and contrabassoon at $10,000. The last tour to Japan, he said, cost $200,000, of which the parent group raised $100,000. Next year's trip to Boston will cost $75,000.
The goal, Tsutakawa said, is to leave no student at home, regardless of financial circumstances. Only 50 to 60 percent of the parents can pay for their children's travel expenses.
P-I music critic R.M. Campbell can be reached at 206-448-8396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 1998-2007 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Bradley Leighton Heard in the Heavens
JAZZ FLUTIST AND RECORDING ARTIST BRADLEY LEIGHTON APPEARS IN UNITED AIRLINES AUDIO PROGRAM JAZZ CHANNEL
Tsutakawa Family Among Recipients of
|Watch a video|
|2005 Mayor's Arts Awards Recognize Diverse Group of Individuals and Organizations Seattle, WA - The Mayor's Arts Awards recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations that make a difference in our community through art and cultural activities. The Seattle Arts Commission reviewed nearly 60 public nominations and recommended the recipients to Mayor Greg Nickels. "Art and culture play a big role in making Seattle a wonderful place to live, work and visit," said Mayor Nickels. "Let's honor the people and organizations making a positive difference in our community through artistic and|
R) Marcus, Gerard,
Mayor Nichols, Mayumi, Deems
|cultural contributions. I don't think we brag enough about it and the Mayor's Arts Awards are one opportunity to help spread the word." The 2005 recipients, are:|
"The recipients of the 2005 Mayor's Arts Awards were selected this year
from public nominations by the Seattle Arts Commission," said Mark Charles
Paben, Commission chair. "It was very exciting to discover how individuals
and organizations are contributing to the artistic sector in the city. We
look forward to opening nominations again next spring."
Mayor Nickels will present the awards at the opening ceremonies of Bumbershoot, Seattle's Arts Festival, at noon on Friday, September 2, 2005. For Bumbershoot ticket information, visit http://bumbershoot.org. Each awardee receives a signed, specially-framed copy of the 2005 Bumbershoot Fine Arts Poster, featuring "Hank Williams Is My Friend," by Joe Max Emminger. Poster design is by Karen Kirchhoff, printing by Litho. The poster is made possible through support from the Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, City of Seattle. Bumbershoot is produced & presented by One Reel, a Northwest non-profit arts organization, in collaboration with Seattle Center. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs promotes the value of arts and culture in and of communities throughout Seattle. The 15-member Seattle Arts Commission, citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council, supports the City agency.
|The sons and daughter of
Ayame Iwasa Tsutakawa and the late sculptor
George Tsutakawa have individually made significant contributions to the
cultural landscape in the Northwest, and together serve as models and
inspiration for a generation of Asian American and other artists and
musicians. Each has earned accolades in their chosen discipline, but it's
noteworthy that the four come from one family, were all born in Seattle (and
attended Franklin High School). Taken together, the family has influenced
and supported the artistic growth of Seattle for three decades.
Sculptor Gerard Tsutakawa (b. 1947) is a metal and wood sculptor who has produced commissioned work in many important public spaces in the Northwest, as well as in the United States and shown in local, regional and international exhibitions. Gerard is most well-known locally for "Mitt" (1999) the bronze sculpture at Safeco Field, now perhaps the most photographed sculpture in Seattle. He has had many solo shows at Foster White Gallery. Gerard has also been active as a teacher and community volunteer for years, passing his skill and enthusiasm to students at Pratt Fine Arts Center and Seattle Public Schools. He currently serves as a trustee of the Seattle Art Museum and an advisory board member of the Pratt Center.
Mayumi Tsutakawa (b. 1949) has been active as an arts manager, editor, arts consultant, and curator in Seattle for many years. She currently serves as Arts Participation Manager at the Washington States Arts Commission, supporting projects in low income, rural, ethnic and disabled communities. She curated exhibitions for the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Bumbershoot, and Seafirst Bank Gallery, among others. As manager of the King County Cultural Resources Division in the early 90s, she oversaw a $5 million agency that included arts grantmaking and programming in historic preservation, landmarks, public art and arts education. Mayumi has also edited books and contributed to art catalogues for the University of Washington Press, the Smithsonian Institution, Calyx Books, Seal Press and Young Pine Press. A former journalist at The Seattle Times, she recently received the "Community Voices" award from the International Examiner Newsjournal for her multicultural writing and cultural leadership.
Deems Tsutakawa (b.1952) began his study of classical piano at age 5 but began playing jazz professionally at age18 and has built a national following. He is largely self-taught but also studied music at the University of Washington and the Cornish College of Art. From his early beginnings at clubs in Seattle's Central District, he soon found himself performing with jazz legends including Kenny G, Roy Ayers, Tony Gable and Julian Priester, as well as opening concerts for Spiro Gyra, Hiroshima and Maynard Ferguson. He founded his own recording label J-Town Records in 1982, and has since released two singles and nine albums of original music. Deems and his ensemble have contributed performances to most major Asian American nonprofit organizations on the West Coast.
Marcus Tsutakawa (b 1954) is both a musician and beloved educator. Conductor of the Garfield High School Symphony Orchestra since 1985, he has led this group on numerous tours to major cities in Japan. They also placed 2nd in the Vienna Youth and Music Festival in 1997, and went on to play concerts in Europe. His Garfield Orchestra has won first place an astounding 13 out of 15 years at the annual Northwest Orchestra Festival held at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. Marcus has been both a volunteer and leader in music education, serving as a private instructor, an adjudicator for regional music festivals, director of the Seattle Junior Symphony since 1999, and instructor at the Arts West Summer Chamber Music Camp since 2000. In addition to performing string bass and recording for decades with his brother, Deems, Marcus has been recognized twice by the KING TV's Follow the Leader Program, honoring regional leaders, and received the Prix de Martell prize recognizing "Champions of Classical Music" in 1992. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
DEEMS ONE NIGHT ONLY - September 6, 2005
FROM: The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley 2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98121 CONTACT: Rachael Millikan or John Dimitriou, 441-9729 email@example.com RE: Performance at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley COST: $19.50
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley presents for one night only, pianist Deems Tsutakawa. Set time on Tuesday is at 7:30PM and door will open at 5:30PM. Band members are Steve Banks-drums, Steve Kim-bass, Dean Mochizuki-sax, and Kevin Boyd-vibes.
DEEMS has established himself internationally as a distinctive and imaginative writer, arranger, producer and bandleader, as well as explosive solo pianist. With his roots planted firmly in an Asian American upbringing, DEEMS’ music has evolved into a delectable blend of R&B, pop and mainstream jazz that he calls “contemporary soul jazz.”
Born and raised in Seattle, Deems is a third generation Japanese American with solid roots in American music; rhythm and blues, jazz, soul and pop. He studied classical music from the age of 5 to 15, and then moved into jazz. Deems has a style of music so appealing that his name has rapidly become well known to jazz fans across the nation, Canada, Japan and throughout Europe. He has opened for the likes of Spyro Gyra, Maynard Ferguson, Roberta Flack and has played with Hiroshima, Joe Williams and Kenny G.
Deems and J-Town Records released the long-awaited compilation album Deems Greatest Hits in January of 2005. Fourteen prime selections from his catalog spanning 2 decades make this truly remarkable compact disc a must have for fans and audiophiles alike. The landmark album also features Good Stuff and Sailing To San Juan never before available in digital format.
Fresh and original, true to his vision of himself as an artist, each track represents a special moment in time in which DEEMS’ vibe shines through.
Reservations can be made on our web site at www.jazzalley.com by phoning Jazz Alley at 206.441.9729 or through TicketMaster at www.ticketmaster.com. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Making reservations is advised. All shows are all ages. The Pacific Jazz Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.
COMING ATTRACTIONS Pat Metheny Trio with Christian McBride and Antonio Sanche & Quartet with David Sanchez Sept. 7 – 9 Sara Gazarek Sept. 10 & 11 David Sanborn Sept. 13 – 18
Bradley Leighton Returns
JAZZ FLUTIST AND RECORDING ARTIST BRADLEY LEIGHTON RETURNS HOME TO SEATTLE FOR CONCERT AT TRIPLE DOOR WITH ALIVE & WELL TO BENEFIT PROVIDENCE ELDERPLACE
SEATTLE, WA – Jazz/pop flutist and recording artist Bradley Leighton will return to his roots in the Pacific Northwest for a benefit concert “An Evening of Smooth and Funky Grooves,” Wednesday, July 20, at Triple Door in Seattle, joined by R&B/Funk Band Alive & Well for a special reunion performance and guest artist, jazz pianist, Deems Tsutakawa. The concert will benefit Providence ElderPlace. The show will begin at 7:30 pm and tickets are available at the Triple Door, 216 Union Street, 206-838-4333. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Later that week, Leighton and friends will play again for Providence ElderPlace – this time with golf clubs, not instruments! The “Third Annual Deems Smooth and Fonky Golf Tourney,” will be held Sunday, July 24, at Jefferson Park Golf Course, 4101 Beacon Avenue South. The event, which will also benefit Providence, is being presented by J-Town Records (Deems’ record label) and sponsored by KWJZ in Seattle. “We want everybody to dress fonky,” says Deems, a Seattle native, “Prizes will be awarded for the fonkiest-dressed person and team!” Tickets are $90 per player and include the green fee and a free lunch. Advanced registration is required.
Providence ElderPlace is an innovative program that provides comprehensive services to frail, older adults, designed to support them in remaining healthy and independent in their communities as long as possible. The only program of its kind in the state of Washington, Providence offers a wide range of services including social work services, primary and specialized medical care, therapists, meals, housing, round trip transportation by wheel chair accessible vans and more. “Our goal is to keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes and integrated in their communities as long as possible,” says Susan Hayashida, director of the program. “The common denominator is that over 95% of service recipients are low-income, but it is interesting to note that twenty-five different languages are spoken between our recipients and our staff.” As of April 1, 2005, Providence ElderPlace has relocated to a brand new building, located at the site of the old Rainer Vista building. Hayashida plans to attend both the concert and the golf tournament. “A lot of generous people are donating their time to both of these wonderful events – we are very grateful,” she adds.
For more information on Providence ElderPlace, please visit: www.providence.org
For more information on The “Third Annual Deems Smooth and Fonky Golf Tourney,” visit: www.deemsmusic.com.
For more information on Bradley Leighton, please visit www.fluteguy.com, where audio and press clips are available. For interviews and booking contact: Donna Nichols at Pacific Coast Jazz, 619-405-3900.
For interviews with members of Alive & Well, please contact: Kurt Kolstad, 253-535-3646.
Bradley Leighton’s music, including Just Doin’ Our Thang, is distributed exclusively by BIG DADDY MUSIC and is available at most major music retailers including Tower, Amazon.com and CDBaby.com.
DEEMS GREATEST HITS Released
J-Town Records is proud and excited to announce the release of the long
awaited compilation album -
DEEMS GREATEST HITS, JT8100.
J-Town Records is proud to present a pair of extraordinary compact discs now available at www.deemsmusic.com: the brand new cd From Me To You featuring the soulful guitar playing of David Yamasaki and the re-release of the legendary cd Stay Close To Me which features the San Francisco Bay Area vocalist Colette Ikemi.
David Yamasaki's guitar genius can be heard on many of Deems' records including the hit single Tough Tofu which has achieved worldwide airplay. From Me To You showcases Dave's ability to groove w/ the funk, latin, R&B, pop, and jazz genres with the ease and smoothness of a fresh yet clearly accomplished and well rounded musician.
Stay Close To Me which came out on J-Town in 1989 captures the essence of Colette Ikemi's truly soulful and romantic style of singing. The cd features the songwriting of Paul Anderson with some outstanding performances and very spiritual spaces indeed.
Please visit our site and sample the mp3 soundclips of these two incredible releases as well as our other J-Town releases.
From Me To You Released
The J-Town Sound is proud to present a hot new artist and compact disc-
David Yamasaki, From Me To You. This fantastic release features the smooth
and soulful guitar playing and songwriting of veteran Bay Area player David