The Emmy Award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist Mark Izu is a member of Kabuki Jazz Cabaret, which will perform at Yoshi’s on Sunday at 5 p.m. The group combines music from East and West, including taiko drumming and jazz along with Noh Theatre storytelling. Call (415) 655-5600 or visit www.yoshis.com for tickets.
Can you talk a little about the multiple layers of this show? We call it a cabaret because we were thinking about the ancient kabuki theater, and the idea of a formal art that combined music, dance and theater. In the old days, you didn’t distinguish between them. Performance was an art on its own that had many things within it. We have our musicians, our taiko drumming, jazz, but we also have storytelling performances in Noh and Kyogen theater, and a spoken-word piece.
What was your first introduction to music? I started out pretty young, playing clarinet in elementary school, then I got into electric guitar, rock, blues and classical. In high school, I heard [John] Coltrane and it changed how I listened to music. “The November Steps” by Toru Takemitsu heavily influenced me. I couldn’t believe how he could make all of those sounds.