Jazz guitarist and composer Shinobu Ito was born in Japan.He started his professional career at the age of 20.
During a six-month stay in L.A. in 1975, Shinobu met Toshiko Akiyoshi, who introduced him to many musicians and strongly urged him to hone his craft in New York on his next visit to the United States.
Back in Japan that same year, Shinobu resumed performances with many top class musicians, playing with Kohsuke Mine, Seiichi Nakamura and Hidefumi Toki, as well as Tete Montreux, Bill Reichenbach, Ronnie Foster, Stanley Banks and others.
Also in 1975, he was chosen as one of the top 20 popular guitarists in Japan, by Swing Journal magazine.
In keeping with his plan, Shinobu returned to the United States in 1977 and settled in New York City. He became a member of a 10-piece band directed by Reggie Workman.
He also played with Teruo Nakamura & his Rising Sun Band and on occasion formed his own group to play at Blue Note, 55 Bar, the Angry Squire, Pat’s, and other popular venues in the city’s jazz scene.
He has performed or recorded with musicians including Valery Ponomarev, Lonnie Plaxico, Eddie Henderson, Lonnie Smith, Jesse Davis, Kenny Davis, Jeff Williams, Mike Formanek, Vincent Herring and Judy Niemack. Shinobu performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival 2002 with renowned guitarist Ryo Kawasaki.
During the years 2005 & 2006, Shinobu spent most of his time as a jazz instructor at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Japan. He returned to New York in January 2007, where he continues to perform, compose and work as instructor and producer.
Shinobu released his first CD, Sailing Rolling, (Crown Records/PAS-1009) in 1991 with Tom Harrell, Danny Gottlieb, Gary King, Mark Soskin and Dick Oates.
The CD made the charts as one of the top ten best sellers in the Contemporary Jazz category in Japan, and was aired on many TV and FM stations for years.
He also co-produced and performed on Eric Wyatt’s debut CD, God Son, for King Records (KICJ-313) in 1997 with Dan Kostelnik, Al Foster, Rufus Reid, Guilherme Franco and Mark Soskin.
Shinobu’s live recording in 1991 at Tokyo’s Roppongi Pit Inn in Tokyo was released in 2001 by PJL Japan as One Life To Live (JazzBank/MTCJ-1049).
It was celebrated as a legendary recording in the history of Jazz-Fusion in Japan. All but one of its six tracks are his original compositions.
Shinobu’s next CD, on which he plays mostly acoustic guitar, was released in 2002 and is titled A Tribute to Baden Powell and Antonio Lauro. (JazzBank/MTCJ-1049).
His CD with Seiichi Nakamura, one of the great tenor saxophonists in Japan, was recorded in his own room in New York in September 2004, and was released as Serenata in August 2005 (JazzBank/MTCJ-1084). All but two of its ten tracks are Shinobu’s original compositions.
Shinobu’s Latin flavored smooth Jazz group, RAMONADA, was invited to play at a newly opened Jazz club in Tokyo called CANDY in April 2006. The CD, Live at Candy, was recorded in November of that year.
His latest CD, Musica para Enamorados, is a classical guitar duo recorded in New York City and released in August 2006 on the JazzBank label (JazzBank/MTCJ-1095).
Revised March 2008