Tatsu Aoki is one of the most recorded, talked-about bassists on the Chicago music scene.

January 17, 2015 @ Constellation Links Hal

Saturday, January 17 2015 @9:30pm
Miyumi Project
Constellation Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60618

December 16, 25014 @ MCA Screen

MCA Screen
Tatsu Aoki
Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 6-8 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
FREE with museum admission

Tsusaka Taiko director Tatsu Aoki has been creating experimental films for more than 30 years. He screens a selection of rare 16 mm prints from his archive and introduces a digital print from his ongoing collaboration with choreographer Lenora Lee.


3725, (1980) 11 min
Set in the late 1970s in North Chicago, 3725 traces the obsessions of a Japanese foreign student with the traditional Japanese toy kendama, jazz, and drugs, for an abstract portrait of Japanese culture’s transformation and the disastrous explosion of an individual’s inner life in the US.

Harmony, (1991) 9 min
Aoki employed the multiple exposure technique to film a busy intersection in downtown Chicago, where pedestrians pass each other, keeping to themselves, while inside they carry their own trails of history and discrete feelings.

Washed 1984, (2012) 8 min
This ongoing series draws from old, unexposed film accumulated and stored by Aoki over the past twenty-five years. Periodically, he randomly selects a batch of film rolls to expose and hand process, recording his present life onto the outdated celluloid. This process mirrors Aoki’s journaling, writing daily, present-life observations into non-chronological notebooks.

Puzzle 2000, (2000) 20 min
A day trip to Lincoln Park Zoo turns into a colorful journey of light and shadow, evoking traveling spirits and obscure moving images.

The Detached, (2014) 12 min
Aoki’s collaboration with choreographer Lenora Lee was filmed at Angel Island, popular for its expansive views of the San Francisco skyline and the former site of a US Bureau of Immigration inspection and detention facility, where officials detained, inspected, and examined approximately one million immigrants under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Detached features Lenora Lee Dance performing in the restored barracks, where many of the detained Chinese, from 1910 until a fire in 1940 closed the site, carved poetry into the walls.

December 6, 2014 @ Hairpin Arts Center

Saturday, December 6, 2014 @8pm
Miyumi Project
Hairpin Arts Center
2810 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618


Click to see Details / Chronological order

[CD] TOYOAKIMOTO by Tatsu Aoki

Reconstruction of Tokyo Style Geisha Music
Asian Improv Records 0083
TOYOAKIMOTO [CD] available online via the website Amazon.com now.


About Tatsu

The Miyumi Project Live In Poland

TATSU AOKI - Bassist Tatsu Aoki is a prolific and accomplished musician, composer and educator. He works in a wide array of musical styles, ranging from traditional Asian music to jazz to experimental music and is a much in-demand artist performing on both contrabass and the shamisen (Japanese 3-stringed lute). He has recorded over 100 albums featuring many of the musical legends of Chicago, including Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Malachi Favors Maghostut, Don Moye and John Watson Sr. 2006 saw Aoki present his most ambitious work to date, "re: Rooted" a continuation of his "Rooted" composition cycle featuring the MIYUMI Project Big Band at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion. Aoki is the founder and Artistic Director of the Annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival.

[full Biography]