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Makoto Ozone

Born and raised in Kobe, Japan (on March 25, 1961) Ozone was playing the blues organ by age four, the product of a jazz organist father and the musically rich environment he was brought up in. It was an Oscar Peterson concert that turned him on the piano at the age of twelve. The talents of the legendary pianist caught the young boy by total surprise and inspired him to tackle the instrument himself. It is with special pleasure then to hear that the very same Oscar Peterson regards Ozone as an "outstanding pianist. Firt of all, his trechnique is extraordinary. And secondly, there isn't an ounce of waste to his performance. It is a wonderful thing to be able to express oneself to the audience with such clarity."

Ozone made his first public appearance in 1983 with a solo recital performance at the Carnegie Recital Hall, soon after graduating from Berklee College of Music. The incredibly talented young man with the exotically handsome looks soon became the talk of the jazz circuit. It was not long before he struck a record deal with CBS, making his international debut in 1984 with the album "OZONE". His mento Gary Burton, who had invited him into his quartet and took him along on a world tour, not only participated in this memorable first album, but also wrote the liner notes as well. He let the fans in on a little secret: Ozone had yet to own a piano just then.

A fine beginning for a fine young pianist, Ozone's musical career flourished. His first concert in Japan won him rave reviews and a permanent place in the hearts of Japanese fans who proudly regard his success as their own. His second album "After", was released in 1986. Once again, he played at the Carnegie Hall, this time, as an opening act for Sarah Vaughan!

Wether performing in front of 30.000 people at Montreux and JVC jazz festivals or in smaller clubs,his passion bursts forth in brilliance as he sweats and swings and cries out as one with the audience. With the spirit of a true entertainer, Ozone enthrals the audience with his shine and wit. Nothing is more important than his best effort. Small wonder ecstatic fans go back for more.

Having released four albums on CBS by 1988, Ozone opted for a change in scenery. He signed on with Victor Music Entertainment in 1989 and relocated himself back in his native homeland. Excited by the possibility of opening new doors, Ozone immersed himself with the synthesizer - a totally new experience for the child of the piano. The results were eye opening. "Starlight", the first album to be released by Victor and the two albums that followed were of the finest quality, the fusion sounds produced by the synthesizer simply delightful. Not satisfied by limiting his talents to music alone, it was around this time that he ventured out into new terrain by hosting a TV show. It goes without saying that his charming manner and sense of humor certainly did no harm and his fanbase broadened to include many a more starry-eyed women.

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Album Review

Makoto Ozone Trio: The Trio

Read "The Trio" reviewed by Douglas Payne

Back when Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone was attending Berklee, he was Gary Burton's prodigy and a frighteningly promising improvisor. Ozone has an unusual ability to suggest odd traits of past masters – the muscularity of Ahmad Jamal, the happy romanticism of Bill Evans, the simplicity of the intricate Joanne Brackeen and, at times, the classic panache of Chick Corea – and weave them into a personable style.

Somewhere along the way, even though all these traits are still evident, he ...

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Performance / Tour

Makoto Ozone: Back on the road, with love

Makoto Ozone: Back on the road, with love

Source: Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes

When Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone last visited New York City, a not-so-funny thing happened. He was in the Big Apple in January 2020, planning to visit friends in advance of his next scheduled trip, an April 2020 appearance with his trio at Dizzy's Club. “I was supposed to be there only for a few days, but I got COVID as soon as I got there. So I had to lock myself up for about 12 days. I had to cancel ...



Scottish National Jazz Orchestra & Makoto Ozone Vividly Re-imagine Mozart’s "Jeunehomme"

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra & Makoto Ozone Vividly Re-imagine Mozart’s "Jeunehomme"

Source: Michael S. Clark

An air of great anticipation surrounded the premiere in Edinburgh of Makoto Ozone’s very special arrangement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 9th Piano Concerto K.271 for The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra directed by Tommy Smith. This universally popular work, known familiarly as Jeunehomme is here re-imagined by a daring soloist in Makoto Ozone, an exceptional big band in the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO), and a courageous leader in director Tommy Smith. Mozart’s devotion to melody and solo virtuosity speak to ...


Performance / Tour

The Chamber Jazz Society Of Baltimore Presents The Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone Duo Only East Coast appearance for Duo

The Chamber Jazz Society Of Baltimore Presents The Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone Duo Only East Coast appearance for Duo

Source: All About Jazz


The Chamber Jazz Society of Baltimore concludes its fifteenth season of exceptional jazz concerts at the Baltimore Museum of Art with its Premium Concert featuring The Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone Duo on Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 5 pm. One of Baltimore's premiere jazz concert series, CJS continues to program the finest artists in jazz today. All concerts take ...

Richard Szaniszlo




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

It's Sand, Man!

Arkadia Records


Time Thread

Selective Records


My Witch's Blue

Selective Records



Unknown label



Selective Records


The Trio

Verve Music Group



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