Japan Experience
When SARS ended our successful run of live jazz in Shanghai, I had to consider what's next for Greg Chako, back to Singapore, to America, or to Japan, the country of my beloved wifes' birth. We decided on Japan because it was the easiest and most practical to accomplish, and also because I had heard that jazz is popular in Japan. However, shortly upon our arrival to Japan, my 37 yr. old wife was diagnosed with late stage, deadly cancer. I had no job, no drivers' license, no Japanese language skills, no family or friends, except for my ailing wife. This terrible life changing situation consumed all my time and efforts, and I could not be the 'Jazz Prophet' and go-getter I used to be. All my focus was on my wife and our continued survival under the most dire circumstances. When my wife died I wrote my observations of her traditional Buddhist funeral ceremony, included on this website: English / Japanese

Despite the personal problems described above, I have been able to play a little in Japan, and it's mostly thanks to the wonderful locally based players (and agents) who have helped to get my name around when I was unable to do so myself. It is by their thoughts that I am working at all! But now that I am on my own, I look forward to more music to come!

In 2005/2006 my music career began to get back on track. I began playing more, and I released 2 new CDs, my 6th to date, and my first official release in Japan, called "Where We Find Ourselves", and my 7th to date, called "Two`s Company and Three`s a Crowd". The background story of "Where We Find Ourselves" can be found here: (link) Currently, I have two steady weekly gigs, every Tuesday night with my trio at The Starboard Lounge of the Intercontinental Hotel in Yokohama, and every Friday for more than a year now at The Imperial Hotels` Aqua Lounge in Tokyo. In addition, I play once every two months at the live house, Bar Bar Bar in Kannai, and am increasingly active on the local music scene in live houses (The Cotton Club, Motion Blue, B-Flat and others), and for corporate and private events.

Time and Style, Jazznin Magazine and Rentrack Japan (Jazz Party)
"The focus also turned toward live jazz, with two great sets as the the trio romped through standards with some particularly fine solos from all three. Though Chako has only recently arrived in Tokyo, he blended in superbly with now long-time Tokyo stalwarts, Mark Tourian and Cecil Monroe. His guitar was crisp and clean, with a deep reserve of harmonies and soloing ideas."
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