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Photo:Barbara Stranga

Wearable Art (woven pieces) by Nobuko Tsuruta

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Singer-songwriter, keyboardist, percussionist, performer, Saco’s musical experience is wide. She studied classical piano as a child but started searching for more freedom in music when she was in her teens. She played in Rock, Reggae & Funk bands in Tokyo. She continued her musical journey as a saxophonist when she came to NY in 1989, and played Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Jazz, and free improvisational music. She has collaborated with dancers, visual artists, filmmakers, poets, and other performing artists.  


As a saxophonist, she played with stellar musicians, such as Billy Bang, Roy Campbell, Jr., Steve Swell, Jason Kao Hwang, Sheila Jordan, just to name a few, while presenting original compositions in her own ensembles. She released the album, “Another Rain” in 2007. In 2009, she had to quit playing saxophone which she had played for 20 years because of a neck injury. It gave her a big opportunity to transform.


For a while, she organized art shows, workshops, and film screenings for the community, besides teaching music to special needs students. Years later, while walking in the snow, all of sudden, she heard lyrics with a melody and started writing songs. Saco resumed her musical journey as a singer-songwriter and released the album AS IT IS is Beautiful in summer 2018. It features songs in Japanese and English. Since Saco loves the nuance, sound, and vibration of Japanese, which is her native language, she sings in Japanese. Listeners will experience feeling the vibration of the language, while the songs are interpreted in English poetic narratives. Saco performs as a solo, or with the ensemble, "Saco & As It Is," which has various configurations; duo, trio, quartet, and often with One Note One Spirit Choir. 


Saco is a co-founder of One Note One Spirit, the unique sound community for everyone and ATOWA, the piano duo with the celestial sound creator; composer, pianist and crystal singing bowl player, Naoe Moriya who lives in Yokohama, Japan.

Short Blurb for the Press

SACO & As It Is ( the trio version)

Soothing, healing, uplifting and joyful music of Saco & As It Is will make you move and float, and bring people together. Songs are sung in Japanese. Listeners will experience feeling the vibration of the language, while the songs are interpreted in English poetic narratives. The audience will also enjoy the participant activities at her concert.


The composer, lyricist, vocalist and pianist, Saco Yasuma’s musical experiences are wide; Blues, Funk, Rock, Bossa Nova, Salsa, Jazz, and Free Improvisational music. She blends all together with her native land, Japan’s melodies and sensibility to express love and gratitude to nature and the Universe that we are a part of. The actor & producer with many talents, Sakurako Kataoka’s theatrical elements add dynamics to the ensemble sweetly, and Soundrhythium, Michael TA Thompson freely throws dots and colors in the space, while keeping the heartbeat of the dance flow.

For bookings and inquiry: sacoyasuma@msn.com





ニューヨーク在住の作曲家、作詞家、キーボード奏者、パーカッション奏者のサコ・ヤスマはパフォーマーとして様々なジャンルでの経験を積んできました。7歳ごろからクラシックピアノを習い始めましたが、10代半ばごろから、自由さを求め、ロック、レゲエ、ファンクなどに興味をもち、そのうち東京のライブハウスなどでキーボードを演奏するようになります。1989年にニューヨークに来た頃からサックスを吹き始め、アフロキューバン、ボサノバ、ジャズ、アバンギャルドなどグループで演奏し、ダンサー、アーティスト、詩人、フィルムメーカーなど数々の分野の芸術家たちとのコラボレーションも活発に行ってきました。サックス奏者としては、いくつもの自身のアンサンブルを率いり自作の作品を公演する傍ら、ビリー・バング、ロイ・キャンベル、スティーブ・スウェル、ジェイソン・ワン、シェーラ・ジョーダンなどのミュージシャンと共演し、2007年には”アナザー・レイン”というアルバムを発表しています。 2009年に首の故障のためにサックスの演奏を中断し、自閉症などの子供たちに音楽を教える傍ら、小規模ながらもコミュニティーにかかわる奉仕活動などを中心の時期を過ごします。そんなある日雪の降る中を歩いていると、突然歌詞がメロディーに乗って湧いてきて、それ以来自作の歌をピアノで弾き語りを始めるようになります。人も自然の一部だということ、自然は素晴らしく、その一部である私たちも素晴らしいということ、音と私たちはとても深い関わり合いがあり、音が私たちを癒してくれること、音で私たちがつながることができること、などをみんなと一緒に確かめ合いながら、楽しみながら時間を過ごすことができたら、という気持ちで音楽活動を再開しました。