Japanese jazz trumpet player Toshinori Kondo, also known by his pen name Kyodo, died this Saturday in Kawasaki, near Tokyo. This was reported by his family. The cause of death was not reported. Kondo’s official website only says that he “died peacefully.” The musician was 71 years old.
Toshinori Kondo began his musical career in the 1970s, but his first success came only in the mid-80s, when he formed the Toshinori Kondo IMA group. In the early 90s, he moved to Amsterdam and started the solo project Blow the Earth that made him famous. These were improvisations that Kondo performed in scenic locations around the world – for example, in the Negev desert (Israel) or in the Andes, in Peru. Kondo has also played jazz with top stars such as bassist Bill Laswell, saxophonist John Zorn and guitarist Derek Bailey.
He preached unity with nature and its preservation for future generations. Along with other eminent creative professionals, including illustrator Seitaro Kuroda and architect Tadao Ando, Kondo was a member of the Project Picadon anti-nuclear movement.