Photo by Takuo Sato
Provided by Blue Note Tokyo

Shutaro Matsui, a rising star of jazz trumpeter.
His powerful performance will be shown on the concert hall tour.

The jazz in Japan is now witnessing such a glamorous period that one wonders if there has ever been a more fulfilling day. New artists who are well-talented in performance but also in many other abilities such as songwriting, arranging, and track-making have come up on the scene. To develop their music, some work in collaboration, and others affect each other. Shutaro Matsui is the one who is the brightest among those many uprising jazz artists on the scene.

Studied classical music in high school and played in the Mozart Youth Orchestra of Japan as a trumpet player, Matsui went on to Kunitachi College of Music and enrolled in Jazz Music at the Department of Performance & Composition, to expand his horizon in music. Having met Makoto Ozone and Sho Okumura who are the faculty there, he has come into his own as a jazz artist all at once and started playing as a professional trumpet player in his band and Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra, while he joins Hyde (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and such, as a guest trumpet player. In 2022, soon after graduating from college, he was invited to the project called “From Ozone Till Dawn (FOTD)” which Ozone and Misuzu Kanno organized to promote jazz musicians of the next generation. Then, he expanded his horizons into many different types of music such as the Pacific Music Festival, Blue Note Tokyo (BNT), Cotton Club, the TV Show Untitled Concert, and collaborations with many artists like Kenshi Yonezu.

It was July of 2023 when he released his first album Steps of the Blue. The album with 8 songs of his composition stood out with its high quality both in songwriting and performance so that nobody would believe that the leader of this album was in his early 20’s, which startled jazz fans in Japan. And what surprised us more was his performance at the album-release concert of Steps of the Blue at Blue Note Tokyo (BNT) on September 22th, just 2 months after its release. I had been to the venues where Matsui appeared whenever available till then. So, I thought I knew how he would perform, but the night unveiled his totally distinguished performance ability.

It was the first time for him to play at BNT with his band although he had already performed there as a member of Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra. The tickets, however, were sold out as the reservation sales began, and on the night at BNT, expectations of the audience prevailed. The slow music movement by Shu Kanematsu (piano), Shimpei Ogawa (bass), and Kazuhiro Odagiri (drums) who went up on the stage before Matsui set the mysterious atmosphere, and when the hall was surrounded by it, Matsui with his trumpet in his hand appeared as a big applause raised to welcome him to the stage. In the sound space created by the trio, Matsui, playing calm lines in a mellow tone, changed the tone and paced up on the drum fill-in hit by Odagiri. He started an intense blow like a straight line into the ears of the audience. Never was I aware that the melody was that of “Hypnosis”, the first song of the album Steps of the Blue until the developing section of the song. In the solo section after the theme, Matsui heightened the tension of the blow, led the rhythm section with his play, and in response to them he accelerated his blow. I was surprised by the different development from the studio-recorded version of the song.

Matsui who opened up with the best performance of “Hypnosis”, proceeded with the songs mainly on the album, inviting two guest players who also appeared on the album, veteran trombonist Eijiro Nakagawa (trombone) and one of his allies from FOTD Shunya Nakabayashi (saxophone). Each performance of every song as well as “Hypnosis” was updated more dynamically than that in the album. After the last song on the setlist with a surprise guest Makoto Ozone rendered an exciting finale, he gave an unaccompanied breathtaking solo on “Trust Me”. His challenging approaches to the music on the stage showed a rich perspective represented in the album and at the same time his rapid progress in just one year.

©Tadayuki Minamoto

Matsui announced he is going out on “the Shutaro Matsui Concert Hall Live Tour” from January to March 2024 throughout 9 venues in 8 cities across Japan. The same musicians from the album and the BNT show, Shu Kanematsu, Shimpei Ogawa, and Kazuhiro Odagiri will be on the road with him. It was just one year after he started his professional career in earnest that he made his astonishing recording debut. It is quite obvious that Matsui, who unveiled his big leap at BNT a year after the release, is trying to reach another level. We are sure that he will show us a more powerful performance in various venues.


Shutaro Matsui Concert Hall Live Tour 2024

January 14 (Sun.), 2024 at MS&AD Shirakawa Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Tokai TV Enterprise): 052-954-1107

January 20 (Sat.), 2024 at Blue Rose, Suntory Hall, Tokyo *Sold out
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

January 27 (Sat.), 2024 at Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance The Phoenix Hall, Osaka
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (ABC Ticket Information): 06-6453-6000

January 28 (Sun.), 2024 at FFG Hall, Fukuoka
Open / Start: 13:30/14:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

February 2 (Fri.), 2024 at Small Hall, Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall, Kanagawa
Open / Start: 18:30 / 19:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

February 10 (Sat.), 2024 at Koryu Hall, Ishikawa Ongakudo, Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

March 9 (Sat.), 2024 at Concert Hall Shizuoka AOI, Shizuoka
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

March 17 (Sun.), 2024 at Purimo Hall Yutorogi (The Hamura Lifelong Learning Centre), Tokyo
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Sunrise Tokyo Promotion): 0570-00-3337 (Weekdays 12:00-15:00)

March 31 (Sun.), 2024 at Small Hall, Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara, Hokkaido
Open / Start: 13:30 / 14:00
Contact (Office One): 011-612-8696 (Weekdays 10:30-17:00)

Shutaro Matsui Quartet
Shutaro Matsui (trumpet) / Shu Kanematsu (piano) / Shimpei Ogawa (bass) / Kazuhiro Odagiri (drums)

Program: Steps of the Blue / Hypnosis / Trust Me etc.
Tickets: ¥5,500 (tax incl. / all reserved seating)
*Tickets for Primo Hall Yutorogi performance are ¥4,500.
*Preschoolers can not be admitted.
*Doors open 30 minutes before show time.

Planning and production: Avex Classics International
Cooperation: Office Yukkuri 
Production cooperation: Sunrise Promotion Tokyo / Interspace