The country’s largest jazz event samples both the upper echelon of the Japanese scene and leading artists overseas. This year, the theme of the Tokyo Jazz Festival is “Crossing Borders, Transcending Generations,” in keeping with the organizers’ aim to introduce new music culture to Japan and revive legendary jazz traditions. There are two formal venues: The PLAZA in Yoyogi Park, where admission is free, and the nearby NHK Hall, which will house a concert with the likes of saxophonist-composer Kamasi Washington and Japanese vocalist MISIA. The free gigs at Yoyogi Park and surrounding streets will range from professionals to impressive newcomers. Last year saw some 90,000 attendees, so the 2019 festival promises to be a citywide celebration.
Times and prices vary so please check the event’s website for more details.