The Kennedy Center

Tateshina High School Jazz Club


Tateshina high school jazz club started in 1999 by Mr. Kenro Saito, a teacher of this high school, as an extracurricular club activity. The club started with only 4 members at first. From the second year, they focused on big-band jazz. Currently, the club consists of 30 students and 20 alumnae. Almost all of them are female. Some members entered the high school mainly to perform in the jazz club, while other members have taken up instruments for the first time. Those members, having learned the joy of jazz, are extremely proactive in their activities without feeling weary of the hard training. 

The club became one of the model schools for the movie “Swing Girls”, which became a blockbuster movie in 2004, winning the biggest number of awards at the 28th Japan Academy Award, such as the best original screenplay award and the best music award. In 2006, NHK broadcasted a documentary program “A swinging mountain town---Nagano Tateshina high school jazz club” nationwide. Because of that, the club is highly recognized not only in Nagano but also nationwide.

As for their performances, they performed 30 times in 2007. In June 2007, they jointly performed for “2007 NAGANO Monzen Jazz Street” held in Toigo-town, with Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE), of which members came all the way from the home of Jazz, America. This joint performance opened up a new opportunity for the club to perform overseas for the first time in the annual Cherry blossom festival in Washington D.C., one of the biggest Japanese street festivals in America, with HUJE in March 2008. Their performance will be sponsored by Howard University, of which campus is in Washington D.C., and Amway Japan Limited, one of the sponsors for a charity concert of HUJE held in Japan.   They released their first album Candy Box from Toy’s Factory Inc. on October 24th 2007.
  Tateshina High School Jazz Club