Event & Culture

GIN-MEETS!: shoping and dining at Ginza Mitsukoshi!

2016.01.13

GIN-MEETS! on Friday nights: shopping and dining at Ginza Mitsukoshi followed by "Jazz NIGHTS" live jazz music to round off an extraordinary evening


Ginza Terrace (9th Floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi)

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Free "Jazz NIGHTS" live jazz performances are held every Friday at Ginza Terrace on the ninth floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi.

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The GIN-MEETS! name was chosen based on the concept "Let's Meet at Ginza Mitsukoshi" (the store name can be shortened to "Gin-Mitsu," whose pronounciation is similar to "Gin-Meets" in Japanese). Customers shopping in the store or relaxing at a cafe gravitate to the stage and begin to shake their bodies as the lively sounds of jazz music permeate the air.

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This idea of enjoying jazz in Ginza actually has historical roots: starting in the 1950s, it became popular for kissaten (cafes) in Ginza to play jazz records, which led to the jazz kissa (jazz music cafe) boom.

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Jazz had already made its way to Japan by the early 20th century. It was banned during World War II, but in the postwar 1950s and 60s, jazz enthusiasts (particularly young ones) would often join huge lines outside these jazz kissa, eager for a chance to hear this music from overseas.

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Ginza was once home to many famous jazz kissa, including Mimatsu, Ginza ACB (Ginza Ashibe) and Fujiya Music Salon, but during the 1970s the once-expensive imported records dropped down to more reasonable prices, making it possible for individual fans to purchase their own copies. This brought about a gradual decline in the number of jazz kissa.

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Although jazz was once the fiery music of impassioned and enthusiastic youth, these fans aged over the years and displayed a gradual inclination toward a more relaxed enjoyment of music, which has led to the widespread perception today of jazz as a mature music for adult tastes. Today, this tasteful music fits perfectly with the mature, refined atmosphere of Ginza, where it is still enjoyed by listeners.

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Jazz NIGHTS is held on Friday nights and consists of three 30-minute shows. Performers change every week to give attendees a fresh experience no matter how many times they attend.

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This week's performance kicked off with "September" by Tomomi Fukui on piano and Masayuki Tawarayama on bass. The lively rhythms fostered a feeling of excitement among the audience.

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Naomi Grace also joined in on vocals, singing various selections including the poppy "Fly Me to the Moon" as well as Tennessee Waltz, the perfect song to listen to in a laid-back, quiet bar.

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Because this show coincided with the winter holiday season, the band also performed the classic hit "Frosty the Snowman," with Grace's bright and sonorous voice bringing smiles to the faces of listeners. The diverse group of audience members, who spontaneously gathered here to listen, were brought together as one by the music, clapping their hands in time with its rhythms.

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Jazz NIGHTS offers the chance for people to enjoy jazz performances anytime--everyone from small children to people stopping by on their way home from work and elderly fans who most likely visited jazz kissa in their youth. Have an unforgettable evening by experiencing the history of jazz firsthand in the mature and refined Ginza district.

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