Jam sessions

Jam sessions are the sweaty workout of the jazz world, where musicians go to pump up and get in shape. It’s a classroom, too, where aspiring players can get their lessons and take their lumps. While most professional musicians graduate from these sessions, most nights, after the clubs close, the pros still gather to jam.

Tokyo has many, many jam sessions, many of them unadvertised and hard to find. As it has always been, the inner world of jazz can be slightly secretive, and even more so in a city like Tokyo, where it is hard to find places even when you do know where you are going. Rest assured, though, all kinds of late night spaces open up their space to opening up the music. The jazz world needs these like the earth needs its forests—they generate a lot of musical oxygen.

Below are a few of the best known jam sessions, but anyone reading this who knows of others should send me an email and I’ll add it to the list. Be forewarned that some jam sessions do charge an entry fee and others are organized by level. Times change, though, so anyone with instrument in hand should check the websites closely for the latest listings. I’ve listed them by days of the week, but holidays and special sessions often take priority. Sessions start around 7 or 8 unless otherwise noted.

 

 

Sunday

Shibuya, KoKo, www3.point.ne.jp/~ko-ko/

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, www.milescafe.com/jam.html

Half Tone, Tachikawa, www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/halftone/

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

Live Café Giee, Kokubunji, http://giee.jp/ (not every Sunday)

Meg, Kichijoji, http://www.meg-jazz.com/ (not every Sunday)

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

Unamas, Mitaka, http://www.unamas.jp/info0.htm (not every Sunday)

 

 

Monday

Cotton Club, Takadanobaba, www.intro.co.jp/cotton/index.php

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, www.milescafe.com/jam.html

Rooster North Side Ogikubo, www.ogikubo-rooster.com Blues!

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

Meg, Kichijoji, http://www.meg-jazz.com/

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 

Tuesday

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, www.milescafe.com/jam.html

Half Tone, Tachikawa, www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/halftone/

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

Django, Sendagi, www.jazzclubdjango.com

Live Café Giee, Kokubunji, http://giee.jp/

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 

Wednesday

KoKo, Shibuya, www3.point.ne.jp/~ko-ko/

Rooster North Side Ogikubo, www.ogikubo-rooster.com

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

First Stage, Roppongi, http://www2.odn.ne.jp/firststage/

Independence, Ikebukuro, http://jazz-independence.com/frameset.htm (1st and 3rd W)

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 

Thursday

Cotton Club, Takadanobaba, www.intro.co.jp/cotton/index.php

Half Tone, Tachikawa, www007.upp.so-net.ne.jp/halftone/

Manhattan, Asagaya, www.ateliermw.com/manhattan

First Stage, Roppongi, http://www2.odn.ne.jp/firststage/

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 

Friday

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, www.milescafe.com/jam.html

Manhattan, Asagaya, www.ateliermw.com/manhattan (from 01:00 a.m.)

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

First Stage, Roppongi, http://www2.odn.ne.jp/firststage/

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 

Saturday

Intro, Takadanobaba, www.intro.co.jp. All night jam session.

Cotton Club, Takadanobaba, www.intro.co.jp/cotton/index.php

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, www.milescafe.com/jam.html

Manhattan, Asagaya, www.ateliermw.com/manhattan (from 01:00 a.m.)

Jam House, Meguro, www.geocities.jp/megrojamhouse/info.html

Meg, Kichijoji, http://www.meg-jazz.com/ (vocal session)

Miles Café, Ikebukuro, http://www.milescafe.com/index.html

 


HELP!!! If you know a good jam session, can you let us know?
Send us an email. Thanks!

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