Formed in 1997. From their early, mostly-ad lib performances, they have continued to transform their music up to their current style, which emphasizes composition-regulated rhythm ensemble work. The group's current members are Masahiko Okura (reeds), Shinichi Tsukamoto (keyboards), Tadashi Kumada (drums), Itoken (drums), and Yukiya Taneishi (electric bass).
Born in Tokyo in 1966. Okura began his performing career when he joined Dub Sonic Warrior in 1994. From the beginning he explored free improvisation with a variety of players. In '97 he formed (and became the leader of) the band gnu. In 2005 Okura joined ONJO. Since 2006, along with Taku Sugimoto and Taku Unami, he has organized the Chamber Music Concert series as a forum for introducing compositional works.
Masahiko Okura home page (Improvised Music from Japan)
Keyboard player. A member of gnu since 1999. Other bands in which Tsukamoto participates include Salvia, MI-NE, Tobiatama, and Echoflex.
Bassist. Born in Shizuoka prefecture in 1970. Taneishi became a member of the Eric Jacobsen Band in 1990. Since that time he has been active in a variety of bands and units, including gnu, which he joined in 2001. Last year the band seedstone, led by Taneishi, released its first CD, EAIR.
Drummer. Born in Kanagawa prefecture. Kumada launched his performing career in Tokyo in 1990, and participated in the units Copass Grinderz, hi-speed, Shuttle Loop, Weed Beats, and UMA. He was a member of gnu at the time of its formation in 1997. After a temporary absence, he returned to gnu in 2001. Currently Kumada is also a member of Shiro Maruyama's group Marusanzu, and the jam band Ayahuasca.
Drummer. Joined the group gnu in 1998. Itoken's wide-ranging activities include his work (as leader) in the units Harpy and zuppa di pesce; solo performances using electronic and toy instruments; and participation in d.v.d., the noted trio consisting of two drums plus visual imagery.
Ftarri Festival Tokyo home