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”)

Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, jazz guitarist/composer Nobuki Takamen has been developing a reputation as ‘’the best jazz guitarist Japan has ever produced’’ as lauded in AllAboutJazz since he relocated to New York in 2004.

Described by Critical Jazz: ‘’…Jim Hall meets Wes Montgomery on their way to a Kenny Burrell show…’’, his music draws influence from the jazz greats and other musicians such as Paul Simon, James Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and melts them into something distinctively his own.

Nobuki has toured with his group in North America and Europe, performing at many of the best international jazz clubs and festivals including Iridium Jazz Club, Blue Note NY, Blues Alley, Smalls Jazz Club, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the Nisville Jazz Festival, where he opened for the original Blues Brothers Band. He has also toured annually throughout Japan since 2004.

Nobuki has four albums released on What’s New Records and Summit Records, and four albums on his own label, including his first solo album, ”Solo Guitar”, his two-disc 6th album, ”Live in Japan”, his eponymous 7th album, ”The Nobuki Takamen Trio”, and his newest album, “Life is Now”.

His playing and music have been featured in publications worldwide, including DownBeat, Guitar World Magazine, 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), and Jazz Life Magazine (Japan).

Nobuki is currently working on promoting his new album, ‘’Life is Now’’ and booking tours to support the release of his 8th release.

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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)
Orta Jazz Festival (Italy)
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)
Budapest Jazz Club (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)

Guitar World’s Essential Guitar Tracks
by Michael Astley-Brown

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