The Jazz in Nemuro - ネムロとジャズの素敵な関係

This week, we talked about his or her own “most favorite thing in Nemuro”. They chose tasty foods like Amataro, and beautiful sceneries like Onneto Big Bridge. 


I totally agree, but I think there is something greater and unfortunately not much mentioned…. This time, let me tell you this: my most favorite thing in Nemuro?  It’s jazz, definitely!



As you know, there are the famous jazz fan club “The Nemuro Hot Jazz Club” and the jazz big band, “The East Point Jazz Orchestra” here. I’d like to write about how jazz in Nemuro is great by referring to these two groups.


The Nemuro Hot Jazz Club (NHJC) is a fan club made by local jazz enthusiasts. The history of the club has reached 50 years last year. They constantly get together at their favorite coffee shop, listen to the records each member brings and share their opinions with each other. And remarkably, they have promoted many concerts by inviting professional jazz musicians from Tokyo. Some of them were recorded and actually released as the live performance album from the major record company.



Cafe “Satin Doll”, where NHJC members constantly get together -ネムロホットジャズクラブの面々が定期的に集まる 喫茶店「サテンドール」

Besides, the East Point Jazz Orchestra (EPJO) is a jazz big band consisted of amateur jazz players, and it also has the long history, more than 30 years. They play in some local festivals and hold a regular concert every year. They have played in USA and Russia as well. Moreover, they recorded for their first album and it was released in 2014.



The East Point Jazz Orchestra - イーストポイントジャズオーケストラ

Personally, I am a member of the band now. I am very honored to be a part of such a great band.



By the way, EPJO plays these two songs in every concert: One is “Ryuhyo”, and the other is “Nimuoro Neina”


Ryuhyo(drift ice in Japanese) was composed by the jazz drummer late Motohiko Hino. NHJC often invited him to Nemuro and he appreciated their support. Then, he made this song and devoted it for them. It was recorded and the same named album has been regarded as one of the classics among jazz fans in Japan.



“Ryuhyo” Motohiko Hino Quartet + 1 - 「流氷」 日野元彦カルテット+1

On the other hand, “Nimuoro Neina” was composed by the jazz trombonist, Shigeharu Mukai. He also came to Nemuro several times and devoted the song. The title means “the song of Nemuro” in Ainu, the language of the former inhabitant.


nimuoro neina

“Hip Cruiser” Shigeharu Mukai. “Nimuoro Neina” is on the first track.

- 「ヒップクルーザー」 向井滋春 「ニムオロネイナ」はA面1曲目。


It was 1970’s when these songs were composed and played in the concert in Nemuro. Most of EPJO members have not watched the concert because they were very young at that time. But EPJO plays these songs as its band signature tunes.


In Japan, Jazz got popular in 1960’s. The generation who lived in their teens and twenties in that decade made the fan club and promoted the jazz concerts, some of which were recorded, and then next and younger generations have been playing the songs devoted for Nemuro. This history itself is the greatest in jazz of Nemuro!