''Open your mind and enjoy drumming!”



A player with remarkable technical skill and energy, Akira Jimbo has in recent years become the first Japanese drum set artist to achieve worldwide acclaim on the clinic circuit. His amazing ambidexterity and musical command of both acoustic and electronic sounds always brings the house down.

Akira came to fame with the four-piece Japanese jazz-fusion band Casiopea. Casiopea was formed in 1979 by guitarist Issei Noro, keyboardist Minoru Mukaiya, bassist Tetsuo Sakurai and drummer Takashi Sasaki. The band released its first album in May of 1979, a high-energy fusion of jazz and funk augmented by a horn section consisting of top American stars Michael and Randy Brecker and David Sanborn. Akira took over the drum chair in 1980, appearing on the band’s third album, Thunder Live, the first of several live albums. Akira stayed until the end of the decade, during which time the band toured the world three times, appearing in Europe for the first time in 1983.On first leaving Casiopea in 1989 Akira formed the band Jimsaku. He has since played with Keiko Matsui, Shambara and many others. Over the years he’s released many solo albums, including Cotton (1986), Palette (1991), Slow Boat (1992), and Lime Pie (1994). He’s also to date released four instructional videos entitled Metamorphosis (1992), Pulse (1995), Independence (1998) and Evolution(1999).

Today his solo performances are legendary. Unlike many other clinicians who play along to sequenced backing tracks, Akira is quite capable of playing both acoustic kit and electronic kit simultaneously in real time to create amazing, complete pieces of music.Recently , a drum clinic by him was organised by  Yamaha music India at the ICCR, Kolkata.


pic courtesy - www.manager.co.th
You started playing drums at the age of 17. What motivated you  to pick up drums?

Steve Gadd made me play drums. His playing was so amazing. His drumming sounds as if the drums is the main instrument.

How important was it playing for Casiopea in terms of developing  both drumming and composition skills?

I had to write one song at least for one album of casiopea. That was the rule. I’ve started to analyze the songs which I like and got the skill of composition  little by little. Also Casiopea has a lot of tough tunes to play. That helped to develop my drumming skill.

How important is it to develop your own sound?

The sound is the signature of the player. All of my favorite drummers have their own sounds.


pic courtesy - vicfirth.com
What would you say inspires/influences your creativeness?

Everything. Experiences.  Like a trip to India!

There are a few drummers today who seem to be practicing for drum clinic performances and not  for gigs. What is your opinion?

There is no practice only for drum clinic or only for performances. Performances seem to be more important than drum clinics, I like both,though.

What is your approach to drum clinics, do you generally have some sort of set routine  worked out before hand or does it change depending on audience?

I have my set routine for the clinic.  I speak about some topics which I found through my drumming experience.

How was your experience doing the drum clinic here in  Kolkata? 

Great!  People seems to be enjoying.  If I could give them some inspiration, that’s would be wonderful.

What do you feel is the most important piece of drumming advice you could offer other  drummers out there?

I could say one thing. ''Open your mind and enjoy drumming!”


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"Trance has to be one of the most resilient genres out there, its forever reinventing itself and moving forward."


Recently, M Bar Kitchen presented  Wipeout Club Nights with John 00 Fleming, the psychedelic trance legend from UK.BBC Radio 1 considers him to be "A National Treasure of Trance Music." The industry considers him to be "One of the Pioneers of Electronic Dance Music Scene." He's achieved international success in a career spanning over two decades. With over 10 million album sales, he's a musical pioneer whose essence lies in what we fans call, "THE J00F SOUND!!!"

Where you always musical as a child? And where you always interested in trance and electronic music?

Trance music didn't exist when I was a child! There was various forms of electronic music that got me more interested in music and made me pursue this and explore more into how I could get into the music industry

Who would you describe as you major influences?

Jean Michelle Jarre was a huge influence for me. At a time when ‘live bands’ where popular, he was making futuristic sounds with synthesizers and this was fascinating and lead me on my path to creating electronic music. 

For someone that has been working in the industry as long as you have, how do you maintain the hunger and motivation to continue working on new projects?

It’s important to keep playing and producing music that you actually love. Many people chase musical fads along with the financial rewards that it brings, but to me its not honest. They also forget at some point those musical fads will end. 

What has been the vision that led to the formation of JOOF Mantra and JOOF AURA?

We only had one label JOOF and it was running at full capacity so it made sense to expand the label group with dedicated labels that specialized in specific genres. JOOF Mantra takes care of the Psy Trance world, while JOOF Aura lets us explore the more progressive and deep side of things. 

What were some of the greatest challenges and rewards of your musical journey so far?

The most difficult challenge was riding through the recent ‘EDM’ storm that did so much damage to the scene, it was sad watching so many great clubs close along with some genres getting bastardized. The rewards are the underground scenes that flourish off the back of that storm, things are in a very good place at the moment. 

You’ve been pushing the genre in new directions and developing the sound – what would you say to people who say trance music all sounds the same?

I’d say it’s time for them to start exploring so that they can discover the big huge wonderful world of underground Trance thats currently out there. 

How do you see trance music developing in the next few years?

Trance has to be one of the most resilient genres out there, its forever reinventing itself and moving forward. We’re at that very point now with some fantastic promoters, clubs and festivals out there supporting this new breed of Trance music. Trance will flourish in 2016.

For the aspiring DJs and producers, if you had to pick three characteristics for success, what would they be? 

I mentioned this before, there is only one. To love what you do and be honest musically. 

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" Transforming my inner personal world, positive or dark, into a visual fantasy world " - Steven Van Nuffelen


Starting life with school, Steven Van Nuffelen always felt that he did not belong, didn’t want to belong to the group and pick out his own people. Without knowing that became a trip that widened him further and further away from main society and creating this non-common life…  and that felt good. He started his physical-artistic education with 3y of Mime and 2y of Theater, and many many workshops. He kept on performing with and around fire, fireworks, pyro techniques… In the meanwhile, He deepened his personality by conscious enlarging practices in many forms and ways. Through meditation he ended up doing Craniosacral Therapy, a hands-on treatment involving meditation techniques looking for Stillness: the healing point of creative life. Continuing that his main goal is connection, with himself and others, to get to know what it is being human with an ultimate tranquil and peaceful death. Recently, he performed at  Momentum experimental art festival at the Range Art Gallery,Kolkata. MOMENTUM is curated and produced by Range, The Arshinagar Project & Littlei, in association with Artvideo.koeln and in partnership with Makers Loft – Kolkata Makerspace.


When did you first learn about fire art and what drew you to it?

Well, during my mime education, one afternoon we learned about fire techniques: fire eating and breathing. We learned how to handle fire, move around and created a show, with success.  I got a job to do a show, in an old church, what was transformed into a restaurant. People came to celebrate the wedding of the Count of Flanders, a Medieval evening. Step by step, I learned the profession: how to build up tension, interact with the audience, building my personal arsenal of acts and props. Fire has the combination of being technical and beautiful. Two things that attracted me. And me playing the Jester figure: doing things other people are not allowed to, was the perfect combination to continue playing, searching new effects, and most important the communication with the audience!

Why do people love fire performers?

Everybody is afraid of fire, thou the beauty attracts them. People are more attracted to the fire, than to the performer… but still, the magic of being able to play with something they are afraid of, gives mystery and marvel.

What does acting mean to you?

Above all: communication, and some escapism from reality I think … But also to transform my inner personal world, positive or dark, into a visual fantasy world by “Making it happen”. Taking the public along unknown worlds attracts me, hope to offer different views in life… so everyone can reflect and maybe, maybe become a better person… This joy of communal profit is the centre of my work.


What is the artistic/creative process you follow?

Throughout the years it has found its way within myself. My personal life lead me to different themes that could take some importance in me, diverse over a 25 years period of time. I worked them out on stage until it started to resonate with the audience. So I ask myself: what is acting… becoming someone else, or just becoming a specific part of yourself… The freedom to choose which part you want to play of yourself on which moment is magical, like talking to different people in different ways.

What has been your most challenging experience in creating the work in which you are currently involved?

Relaxation to open mind and body, and retrieving the Indian wisdom about it, Hindus as well as Buddhist…

In the West, theatre, physical theatre and dance are often taught through techniques. Techniques that teaches their vocabulary and theatrical effects you can use on a certain moment. In India, I encountered an other entrance: deep mediation.

On my travels I started with the Hindu Yoga Nidra, to conclude with the Buddhist Vajrayana meditation. To deepen my own meditation techniques of when I was 9 years old, it is very hard to receive Buddhist wisdom. Since my education was not Buddhist, I still up to now, struggle to retrieve practical information, on what to do with (if not exploit) the energizing body within a soft mindset… Since no outside answers have been given, I just continue to practice, the meditation, the walking meditation and the moving “meditation” on stage.

Do you believe Internet, technology pose threat to live art performances?

Well, when I am  tired I more often stay at home and watch a movie… So to speak, it takes an effort to leave your home to go and see life art performances. The power of life performances is that they are connecting on a different way, multiple levels, being surrounded by the rest of the public influences, the social encounters can bring you in altered states,… so many things that makes out an evening at a life performance, more filled up. So treat… yes. Taking time for a conscious decision, and you know what you have to do that evening…


What can a guest expect in a Craniosacral Therapy session with you? Where do you see energy healing heading in the near future?

Deep deep relaxation. The deeper the guests allows themselves to let go, the deeper the mind and body can profit of the pause. The attention based medicine like Craniosacral Therapy finds its physical connection in the soft touch of the hands. Connection within the mind can start exploring the energetic part. A travels starts to be made.

In the Stillness, during the relaxation, the healing process can take place. As if the nothing is asking to be filled up, so the energy in the body will find its place when there is an open field of “nothing”. It fills it up automatically by law of nature. The same happens with an overload, a blockage… it strives to the natural balance.

As human conscious keeps on expanding, as humans keep on exploring the unseen, so the healing will find further places never seen before. I think one of the keys is Stillness, silence and attention based medicine. Indian wisdom and western medicine will encounter each other more and more, with positive results!

How was your experience performing here?

Intense, but also relaxed, as the meditative body was my starting point… The openness for the moment was the most important goal to meet… and over the 3 performances I succeeded the second time the most. There being in the moment, but also the body, the tension and the inner story met on the same moment, in the Now… a perfect encounter.

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