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Press Release
Jun 24, 2010


NEW YORK, NY -- On September 14, 482 Music will release Actionspeak (482-1071), drummer / composer Tomas Fujiwara's debut as a leader. His band, Tomas Fujiwara & the Hook Up is a two-year old quintet featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, saxophonist Brian Settles, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and bassist Danton Boller. The group performs seven Fujiwara originals influenced by such diverse inspirations as Wayne Shorter, Talib Kweli, AZ, Haruki Murakami, and Meshell Ndegeocello. Speaking of his bandmates, Fujiwara says, "During the first rehearsal, I realized that none of them had ever played together before, and yet these were some of the most important musicians in my life, people that I had known for a long time." The band coalesced around the compositions "with sensitivity and empathy and creativity."

"Fujiwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance", said Nate Chinen in The New York Times, writing about an April show at the Jazz Gallery to preview tunes from the album. An "accomplished debut," Chinen continued, "its aesthetic points toward Wayne Shorter, particularly his writing for the Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s: sleek, enigmatic post-bop, more suggestive than demonstrative. Mr. Fujiwara’s playing conveyed some of what Tony Williams was up to in that band, starting with a conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope... This was music with a history, smartly informed and firmly moored."

Tomas Fujiwara was born and raised in Boston. At the age of seven, he fell in love with music while listening to the classic drum battle record, Rich versus Roach. By age 10, he was studying with legendary drummer and educator Alan Dawson, an apprenticeship that would last for eight years. Current projects, in addition to The Hook Up, include a working duo with Taylor Ho Bynum, whose recent release Stepwise was a followup to their 2007 482 Music release, and The Thirteenth Assembly, with Halvorson, Ho Bynum and Jessica Pavone. His credits as a sideman include work with Matana Roberts, Ideal Bread, Amir El Saffar, Red Baraat, Matt Bauder, and Positive Catastrophe. With "a quiet energy that propels" (All About Jazz) and a style that is "both volatile and watchful", Tomas Fujiwara's "alert drumming has propelled some excellent ensembles on the new-music landscape" (The New York Times). Find out more at

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