Nobuki Takamen – Guitarist/Composer

”the best jazz guitarist Japan has ever produced.”
– AllAboutJazz (5 stars)

”a mature player with keen sense of composition [and] considerable technical skill.” 
– Vintage Guitar Magazine

”an excellent improviser in his own bop-inspired style.”
– Scott Yanow (The Author of ”The Great Jazz Guitarists”)

Guitarist/composer Nobuki Takamen is originally from Hiroshima, Japan. A mainstay of the New York jazz scene, Nobuki has toured with his group in North America and Europe, performing at many of the best international jazz festivals and clubs including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Blue Note NY, Iridium Jazz Club, Blues Alley and Smalls Jazz Club. He has also toured annually throughout Japan since 2004.

He has four albums released on What’s New Records and Summit Records. Nobuki’s playing and music have been featured in publications worldwide, including DownBeat, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar, AllAboutJazz, Jazz Podium (Germany), Jazz’n’more (Switzerland), Jazz Special (Denmark), Musica Jazz (Italy), Jazzwise (UK), Swing Journal (Japan), Jazz Life Magazine (Japan), Jazz Guitar Book (Japan), Jazz Guitar Magazine (Japan) and Jazz Japan.

Besides leading his group, Nobuki has been playing solo frequently since his solo concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of 100% Guitare in 2009. He recorded his first solo guitar album one month prior to his Europe tour in August 2014. Vintage Guitar Magazine commented on this album: ”Takamen is a master. Beautiful solo guitar”.

In 2016, Nobuki released his sixth album, Live in Japan. This 2-disc album was recorded live during his tour in his native country in 2015, with his long-time musical collaborators, Toshiyuki Tanahashi on bass and Naoki Aikawa on drums. In 2018, he released his eponymous 7th album, The Nobuki Takamen Trio, recorded with the same trio. Mark Sullivan of AllAboutJazz remarked of this trio music: ”This is jazz guitar trio music at its finest”.

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Montreal International Jazz Festival (Canada)
Rochester International Jazz Festival (USA)
Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Canada)
DC Jazz Festival (USA)
Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz (USA)
Riverview Jazz Festival (USA)
Jersey City Jazz Festival (USA)
Medicine Hat Jazz Fest (Canada)
Jazz YYC Summer Jazz Fest (Canada)
Calgary Jazz Festival (Canada)
Lethbridge Jazz & Blues Festival (Canada)
JazzVez (Croatia)
Nisville Jazz Festival (Serbia)
Petrovac Jazz Fest (Montenegro)
Techno Jazz Festival (Japan)
Santo Music Street (Japan)

Iridium Jazz Club (New York, NY)
Blue Note (New York, NY)
Smalls Jazz Club (New York, NY)
Bar Next Door (New York, NY)
Blues Alley (Washington, D.C.)
Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre (Medicine Hat, Canada)
Martha Cohen Theatre (Calgary, Canada)
ECU (Paris, France)
iF Cafe (Budapest, Hungary)
Malmitalo (Helsinki, Finland)
Tokyo TUC (Tokyo, Japan)


”Apart from his unique phraseology, and a self-evidence for a wide harmonic landscape, he furthermore draws from a multitude of different genres and melts them into something distinctively his own.”
– AllAboutJazz, Friedrich Kunzmann

”… it demonstrates the power and grace of an experienced group…”
– AllAboutJazz, Mark Sullivan

”This CD is the examplar of some fo the most vibrant new sounds on guitar trio today.”
– Roberta on the Arts

”… Takamen is a master. Beautiful solo guitar… he simply seems to bring the sun out when he plays.”
– Solo Guitar CD review on Vintage Guitar Magazine

”… His music always swings whether taken at a medium or slow tempo, and Takamen, like Joe Pass, sounds like a complete group by himself… throughout the set invigorates the tradition of straight ahead jazz guitar…”
– Solo Guitar CD review by Scott Yanow

”… What is here is totally enjoyable music, and a truly exceptional solo guitar debut from Nobuki Takamen. He’s a jazz guitarist to watch.”
– Solo Guitar CD review by AllAboutJazz

”… the guitarist serves up roller-coaster, angular melodies, played with care on a clear guitar, picking out one crisp note at a time, letting it ring out before moving to the next…”
– DownBeat

”… Jim Hall meets Wes Montgomery on their way to a Kenny Burrell show…”
– Critical Jazz

”… This is jazz guitar trio music at its finest…”
– Live in Japan CD review by AllAboutJazz

”… prodigious technique… strong and lyrical melodies akin to James Taylor’s, which sink into the mind, inviting subconscious lyric-writing from even the most casual listen.” (5 Stars)
– AllAboutJazz

”… the compositions are engaging, and the group dynamic is never less than brilliant.”
– Just Jazz Guitar

”Takamen’s compositions carry his signature and are always characterized by a cleary defined melodic direction and generally a lot of taste.”
– Jazz’n’more (Switzerland)

”… [Nobuki] mixes roughly equal parts Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and himself in 8 own compositions, which in several instances are so well crafted, melodically and harmonically, that I quickly start to hum them.”
– Jazz Special (Denmark)

Additional Press Downloads and Links:

Jazz Podium Interview (Germany)
(Page 1 / Page 2)

Jazz Guitar Book Vol. 27 Interview (Japan) 
(Page 1 / Page 2)

Jazz Guitar Book Vol. 19 Interview (Japan) 
(Page 1 / Page 2)

Interview ”Firmly in the Moment”
by Matt Warnock of Guitar International

Interview by T. Wesley of TGP Webzine

Contact Information:

Mail: nobukitakamen@hotmail.com
Web: www.NobukiTakamen.com