Erena Terakubo, born in Sapporo, Japan, is a multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, and educator known for her global influence in the jazz world. Terakubo’s musical journey began in high school, marking her debut with the album “North Bird,” a collaboration with jazz luminaries such as Kenny Barron and Christian McBride. This album not only topped the Japanese jazz charts but also earned the prestigious Swing Journal’s Gold Disc award.
Terakubo’s artistic prowess extends beyond Japan, as she has performed in notable venues and events across five continents. These include International Jazz Day 2022 at the UN General Assembly Hall in New York, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her talent has also graced stages like the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Beantown Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
A dynamic performer, Terakubo has showcased her versatility through collaborations with various ensembles, including Jon Faddis and his All-Star Big Band, the Kenny Barron Quartet, the Mingus Big Band, and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra. She has also been part of special events like “Bird Calls,” celebrating the centennial of Charlie Parker‘s birth, and will join the Ulysses Owens Jr. & Generation Y Band on a European Tour in 2023.
Terakubo’s discography is a testament to her prolific creativity, with six albums to her credit. Following the success of “North Bird,” she released “New York Attitude” and “Burkina,” featuring jazz icons like Ron Carter and Jimmy Cobb. Her fourth album, “A Time for Love,” received acclaim from Downbeat and Jazziz Magazines. She has also released “Little Girl Power” and “Absolutely Live!” with King Records. In addition to her albums, Terakubo composed the theme song “High Touch (High Five)” for a TV broadcast in Hokkaido, Japan.
Terakubo’s academic achievements are equally impressive. She was the first Japanese recipient of the prestigious Presidential Scholarship at Berklee College of Music, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2018. She is set to earn her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music in May 2023.
Erena Terakubo stands as a shining example of musical excellence and innovation in the contemporary jazz world, her journey marked by a seamless blend of traditional jazz roots and modern sensibilities. Her contributions to jazz as a performer, composer, and educator continue to resonate worldwide, inspiring the next generation of musicians.
Page last updated 1/26/2024.