The Global Appeal of Jazz

  • Haruka Kikuchi and her Band Playing Dixieland Jazz
March, 2017

In New Orleans, there’s always great music to listen to, especially Jazz music. Going to view a set one evening at a local venue, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the stylings of Haruka Kikuchi and her band playing ‘Dixieland Jazz’ standards.  I was surprised because in Jazz, females usually don’t take up the slide trombone as their principle instrument.

Ms. Kikuchi, who is originally from Japan, took up the slide trombone at the age of 15 after listening to a recording of the “Original Dixieland Jazz Band”. She committed herself to the study of the instrument and the ‘Dixieland Jazz’ music she fell in love with.

Now she lives and play in New Orleans earning the respect of her fellow musicians along the way. The local radio station WWOZ show ,’New Music Spotlight (2015)’, said, "Musically, Kikuchi sounds like she may as well have been born and raised in Treme."

This statement is high praise for someone who is not originally from this country; doesn’t play a traditional female principle instrument in jazz and had the courage to make a name for herself in the birthplace of Jazz. This statement is validation for her dedication and commitment in telling the continuing story of New Orleans; Jazz and the musicians who play this truly American musical genre.


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