In Japan “TOKU”is the only flugel horn player who is also well known as a jazz singer.
He was born 1973 in Niigata where he started to play the flugel horn while in junior highschool.
As a high school and college student he played pop music in a cover band.
He was discovered by a jazz drummer who heard his play Miles Davis’ “If I were a bell”
at a college talent contest.
He was later invited to a jam session where he became deeply inspired by jazz.
In his third year of college he moved to the states to learn the language.
While there he started a band with his room mate (who happened to be a jazz pianist) and
thus started his career as a jazz musician.
Upon graduating from college he started singing at a jazz club.
There he was scouted by a DJ from local radio station which led to his first album
“Everything She Said” on Sony Records in January 2001.
In August 2001 he made his debut at the “Blue Note Tokyo”.
In January 2002 his 2nd album “Bewitching” was released as well as mini LP
“Winds of Change” which contained two tracks written by Kyohei Tsutsumi.
In June 2002 John Simon produced Toku’s 3rd album “Chemistry of Love”.
He further established himself as a jazz singer throughout Japan by singing
“You are so beautiful” for a Hitachi TV commercial and also “Do-Re-Mi” for Honda’s Odyssey ad campaign.
In January 2003 “TOKU” came out. This was released includes both instruments and
vocal tracks which highlights his versatile flugel horn technique and sensual voice.
In March 2004 “30” was released as well as all vacal tracks.
In February 2006 “A Brand-New Beginning”was released.
In November 2008 “Love Again” was recentry released. This New Album was recorded at Atlanta,GA with Super Musicians.
Along the way he worked with other talents such as Ken Hirai, Skoop On Somebody, Paris Match, Miki Imai, Mariko Takahashi and m-flo.
Official Website: http://www.toku-jazz.com/