Home » Jazz Musicians » Erena Terakubo

Erena Terakubo

Erena Terakubo is a multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, and educator from Sapporo, Japan. She is an international sensation whose career performances stretch five different continents. While still in high school, Terakubo released her debut album "North Bird," a collaboration with Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Lee Pearson, and Peter Bernstein, which reached #1 on the Japanese jazz charts and was awarded Swing Journal's Gold Disc. Her broad experience has inspired five albums since. Recently, Terakubo has been sharing her expertise by teaching workshops at U.S. universities and touring Europe and Japan.

Terakubo has played notable venues and events such as 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, Dizzy's Jazz Club Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smoke Jazz Club (where she led a band featuring special guest Louis Hayes), the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Beantown Jazz Festival, the Blue Note Tokyo, Blue Note New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Terakubo has performed in Burkina Faso, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Israel and Australia.

In addition to leading the Erena Terakubo quartet, she has appeared with a wide variety of ensembles. These ensembles include Jon Faddis and his All-Star Big Band, the Kenny Barron Quartet (with Kenny Barron, Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and Jonathan Black), the Mingus Big Band, and the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she was a part of "Bird Calls" a special livestream event celebrating the centennial of Charlie Parker's birth presented by The Jazz Foundation of America. In 2023, she'll join the Ulysses Owens Jr. & Generation Y Band on a European Tour.

Terakubo has collaborated to produce a total of six albums. Since the debut of "North Bird" in 2010, she has released "New York Attitude" (with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Lee Pearson and Dominick Farinacci) and "Burkina" (with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Lenny White). Downbeat and Jazziz Magazines commended her 4th album, "A Time for Love" from Celler Live (with David Hazeltine, David Williams, and Lewis Nash). King Records, a major Japanese label, released her 5th album "Little Girl Power" with Mayuko Katakura, Motoi Kanamori, and Shinnosuke Takahashi, as well as her latest album "Absolutely Live!." Aside from these projects, Terakubo wrote the theme song "High Touch (High Five)" for a TV broadcast which aired in Hokkaido, Japan every day in 2018.

Terakubo was the first Japanese recipient of the prestigious Presidential Scholarship at Berklee College of Music, where she received her bachelor's degree in 2018.

Read more


Album Review
Read more articles



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

A New Beat

Cellar Records


Soul Conversations

Outside in Music


New York Attitude

King Record Co., Ltd.


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.