A fine keyboardist who also plays koto, Yutaka Yokokura has often mixed in his Japanese heritage with his love for Brazilian music. He took classical piano lessons from the age of four, listened to pop music of the era, and at the age of 15 in the mid-'60s, he became attracted to Brazilian music. Soon Yokokura was leading his own group, mostly playing Brazilian material that was influenced by Sergio Mendes. In 1972 Yokokura moved to the U.S. to attend Cal State Long Beach. He performed with Hiroshima during 1975-78, which served ironically as an opportunity for the keyboardist to be introduced to his own Japanese culture. In 1978 he recorded his debut album (Lovelight) for a Japanese label; his producers were Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen. After years of studio work, he recorded Yutaka for GRP in 1988 and by then he was doubling on koto. That project was followed up by Brazasia, a CD that in its title definitively sums up Yutaka Yokokura's music.
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