Stomu Yamash’ta

Stomu Yamash’ta — 山下 勉 (born March 15, 1947) — is a Japanese classical/jazz-rock percussionist, keyboardist, composer, and bandleader best known globally for the projects East Wind and Go, which yielded two albums apiece on Island Records between 1973 and 1976.

He was born Tsutomu Yamashita in Kyoto, Japan, on March 15, 1947. At age 13, he enrolled at the Kyoto Academy of Music and played percussion in the Kyoto Philharmonic, conducted by his father. He furthered his studies at Kyoto University and in the US at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

During the 1960s, he performed under Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, American conductor Thor Johnson, and German composer Hans Werner Henze. In 1969, he altered his name to its western phonetic translation Stomu Yamash’ta. That year, he drew a five-minute standing ovation for his performance with Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In 1971, Yamash’ta started the Red Buddha Theatre in Japan and served as its producer, director, and composer. The following year, he brought it to Europe for extended engagements in Paris and London.


  • Metempsychosis (1971 • Stomu Yamash’ta & Masahiko Satoh)
  • Red Buddha (1971)
  • Sunrise From West Sea ”Live” (1971)
  • Floating Music (1972 • Stomu Yamash’ta & Come to the Edge)
  • Hans Werner Henze, Peter Maxwell Davies, Toru Takemitsu (1972 • Peter Maxwell Davies, Toru Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze)
  • Freedom Is Frightening (1973 • Stomu Yamash’ta’s East Wind)
  • Stomu Yamash’ta / Takemitsu Ishii (1973)
  • The Man From the East (OST, 1973 • Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre)
  • One by One (OST, 1974 • Stomu Yamash’ta’s East Wind)
  • Raindog (1975)
  • Go (1976 • Stomu Yamashta, Steve Winwood, Michael Shrieve)
  • Go … Live From Paris (1976)
  • Stomu Yamashta’s Go Too (1977)
  • Iroha – Ten/Chi (1981)
  • Iroha-Sui (1982)
  • Tempest (1982)
  • いろは「水」 (1982)
  • Sea & Sky (1983)
  • いろは「火」 (1983)
  • Kukai (1984)


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