“the best jazz guitarist Japan has ever produced.” – AllAboutJazz (5 Stars)
Born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1977, Nobuki began playing the guitar at age 14. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, he relocated to New York in 2004. Since then, he has been developing a reputation as ‘’the best jazz guitarist Japan has ever produced’’ as described by AllAboutJazz.
A mainstay of the New York jazz scene, Nobuki has toured with his group in North America and Europe, performing at many of the best international jazz festivals and jazz clubs including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Blue Note NY, Iridium Jazz Club, Blues Alley and Smalls Jazz Club. He has also toured annually throughout Japan since 2004.
Nobuki released two albums on What’s New Records. His third album, Live at the Iridium, released on Summit Records, presents a complete, uncut performance from a set at Iridium Jazz Club in 2009. His forth album, Three Wishes, recorded with his trio, was also released on Summit Records in 2012. Nobuki’s playing and music have been featured in publications worldwide, including DownBeat, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Just Jazz Guitar, AllAboutJazz, Jazz Podium, Jazz’n’more, Jazz Special, Musica Jazz, Jazzwise, Jazz Life Magazine, Swing Journal, Jazz Japan, Jazz Guitar Book and Jazz Guitar Magazine.
Besides leading his group, Nobuki has been playing solo frequently since his solo concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of 100% Guitare in 2009. He recorded his first solo guitar album one month prior to his Europe tour in August 2014. Vintage Guitar Magazine commented on this album: ”Takamen is a master. Beautiful solo guitar”.
In 2016, Nobuki released his sixth album, Live in Japan. This 2-disc album was recorded live during his tour in his native country in 2015, with his long-time musical collaborators, Toshiyuki Tanahashi on bass and Naoki Aikawa on drums. In 2018, Nobuki released his eponymous 7th album, The Nobuki Takamen Trio, recorded with the same trio as his previous live album. Mark Sullivan of AllAboutJazz remarked of this trio music: ”This is jazz guitar trio music at its finest”.