October 2013 Archives

Ochanomizu, Chiyoda-ku in Tokyo is dubbed as Musical Instrument Town as dozens of music stores located in the area. Nine months ago, some music stores and a music publisher formed Chiyoda Music Association to work together to promoting music making. It's first project,Ochanomizu Passionate Music Festival, takes place on Oct. 20 at Kanda Ogawa-machi Square inviting name artists including Ryudo Uzaki and David Mathews.

A graduate of Meiji University in the area, Uzaki has organized Ochanomizu JAZZ Festival since 7 years ago in cooperation with Meiji University. The idea to co-stage 1st Ochanomizu Passionate Music Festival came as the Association members contacted Uzaki. Soon they successfully won support from a larger community involving an academy, music stores and publishers including Japan Music Trades, and several companies from music products industry. There were some attempts made in the past among music stores in Ochanomizu to jointly organize music promotional activities, but somehow all didn't realize. (photos: Ryudo Uzaki, left, and Natsuya Kusano.) 

Long worked to make Ochanomizu fill with music just like New Orleans where music flows on every street, Uzaki showed an excellent leadership to materialize the event.

Natsuya Kusano, president of Shinko Music Entertainment, and chief executive of Chiyoda Passionate Music Association, says, "We are very excited with the positive response from both inner and outer circles. Other industry leaders we met are much interested in our project and promised future collaborations. Joining events staged outside the industry, we can expect larger exposure to the untapped markets. Giving live performances at public spaces taking opportunities can generate interest in music and attract new music makers. We hope our activities will contribute to increase traffic in Ochanomizu, and further enhance its image as the town of music and musical instruments in the future. We are very grateful to Mr. Uzaki for all his efforts to link us with outer societies. All in all, our goal is to serve the benefits of participating companies providing them with attractive events and seeds for business."

Keita Harigaya, Miyaji Gakki, a member of the Association, says, "Today, music stores, manufacturers and distributors are seriously affected by the current economic conditions. It doesn't allow any single company to organize music promotional activities alone. Without all-industry efforts, we can't achieve growth in the years to come. The project worked more than expected because everyone felt that the industry needs to act now."

Uzaki and the Association members contacted nearly 20 sports, bookstore and other industries seeking joint-effort opportunities to stage the event. It helped increase awareness of the activities in broader segments of business, and won a grant from Chiyoda-ku administrator.

The Association has produced 30,000 'Ochanomizu Music Stores' maps as part of its activities to be handed out at the music stores and restaurants in the area. It's highly appreciated by the visitors.

As of the end of September, Chiyoda Music Association members include: music dealers- Ishibashi Music, T. Kurosawa, Shimokura Gakki, Taniguchi Gakki, Pan Project, Miyaji Gakki

Music products manufacturers & distributors- Suzuki Musical Instrument Distribution, Zoom 

Music publishers- Shinko Music Entertainment, Japan Music Trades, Yamaha Music Media, Rittor Music

Miscellaneous- Horikoshi (advertisement agency)