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Atsuko Yashima

Executive Producer, Artistic Director,
Tokyo Jazz Festival
Tokyo, Japan
Atsuko Yashima is an executive producer at NHK Enterprises, an affiliated company of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. She has been serving as the producer of Tokyo Jazz Festival since its launch in 2002.The festival has now grown into Japan’s largest international jazz festival and is held on late summer/early autumn weekend and attracts approximately 30,000 people in the heart of Tokyo every year. Under the concept of “beyond borders and generations”, the festival presents established and emerging talents from all around the globe. Some of the artists the festival has invited are Herbie Hancock, Burt Bacharach, Chick Corea, George Benson, Makoto Ozone, Hiromi Uehara and so on.

Since she joined NHK Enterprises in 1998, Atsuko has focused on creating international events to enhance international exchange through music and culture. Other than the Tokyo Jazz Festival, she has been engaged in such events as International Robot Contest, Japan-Korea Friendship Concert, Japan-China Pops Concert, Festival France Glamour, Marche de Noel de Strasbourg in Tokyo, and many more.

As one of her focal projects after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 11th,2011, she has been working with people in the devastated Tohoku area, to support its recovery through music. In this project, Grammy-winning jazz pianist Bob James came to visit Tohoku and composed a special song, “Put Our Hearts Together” to lift up the people’s spirits there. The project was made into a documentary program and was broadcast internationally by NHK.

Atsuko’s involvement in music began in her student years at Waseda University, where she joined the students’ jazz club as an extracurricular activity. She majored in international politics and also finished master’s degree at Keio University for architecture and urban design.