13 Songs, 1 Hour, 13 Minutes


About Akira Tana

b. 14 March 1952, San Jose, California, USA. A self-taught drummer, Tana played semi-professionally while still at college. He attended Harvard University where he gained a degree in East Asian Studies/Sociology. He then studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, also taking private tuition from percussionists with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras and from jazz drummer Alan Dawson. During his studies he had the opportunity of working with Helen Humes, Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins, George Russell, Sonny Stitt and other leading jazz musicians. He also played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and several of the classical music ensembles at the New England Conservatory. In the early 80s he continued to accompany major artists such as Al Cohn, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Jim Hall, Jimmy Rowles, Zoot Sims and Cedar Walton. He also performed with artists outside the jazz world, including Charles Aznavour and Lena Horne. Tana recorded extensively during these years and in addition to albums with some of the foregoing also appeared with Ran Blake, Chris Connor, Carl Fontana, Jimmy Heath, Tete Montoliu, Spike Robinson, Warne Marsh and many others.

In the early 90s Tana worked with James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Wess, Ray Bryant and J.J. Johnson. With Rufus Reid he formed the band TanaReid and, with Reid and pianist Kei Akagi, the Asian American Jazz Trio. A technically accomplished drummer, Tana’s wide range is hinted at by the musicians with whom he has worked. Comfortably at home accompanying singers and instrumental ballads, Tana is equally in his element playing hard bop. In the bands he co-leads with Reid he generates an excitingly propulsive rhythmic drive. In addition to playing, Tana has also produced and co-produced several albums including those by TanaReid, the Asian American Jazz trio and Project G-7. He regularly conducts workshops and clinics at colleges and universities, including Berklee College Of Music, and is an adjunct professor at two colleges.

    San Jose, CA
  • BORN
    14 March 1952

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