Tana, Akira

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Tana, Akira

Tana, Akira, jazz drummer; b. San Jose, Calif., March 14, 1952. He took a degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard Univ. (1974) and a degree in percussion from the New England Cons. (1979). He played in local Boston jazz clubs with other young players, including Ricky Ford and James Williams. Since moving to N.Y. in the late 1970s, Tana has freelanced with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, The Paul Winter Consort, Paquito D’Rivera, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Lena Home, and The Manhattan Transfer. He has performed at the Tanglewood Festival under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Günther Schuller and has accompanied Charles Aznavour, Maurice Hines, and Van Dyke Parks, among others, on over 100 recordings. Tana has given workshops and clinics at various colleges, and was on a concert-clinic tour of South America with the Heath Brothers sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He has taught at Jersey City State Coll., Queens Coll., and N.Y.U. In 1991 he began co-leading a quintet with Ruf us Reid called TanaReid. In 1999, he relocated to Belmont, Calif.


Yours and Mine (1991); Blue Motion (1992); Passing Thoughts (1992).

—Lewis Porter