Nanako Sato is a jazz musician/composer/arranger who performs regularly around Christchurch. She performs at many weddings and private functions as well as festivals like Jazz Festival, Big Band Festival and Arts Festival all around New Zealand with her other various groups such as 18 piece big band “The Garden City Big Band“, “The Organic Jazz Band“, “The Kitsch In Sync”, jazz duo “Sophisticated Lady Jazz Duo“and “The Garden City Combo“. She also plays trumpet/piano in the popular 19 piece All Girl Big Band.
Nanako is a passionate singer-songwriter who released her original composition album “Miracle Tree” in 2009. She performed her original pieces around Christchurch, and one of the tracks “Shade of Difference” (drum and bass style track) was placed in number 1 in the RDU radio show chart for three weeks.
Nanako is the pianist of ‘The Garden City Big Band,’ which the band has recorded and released an album “Hey! What’s The Time?” in 2013 at the Big Band Festival in Christchurch. Unfortunately, the formidable bandleader, music director, mentor to many musicians in NZ, and the one and only jazz legend Mr Stu Buchanan passed away in 2014 June. “Hey! What’s The Time?” album was a collection of beloved Mr Buchanan’s original compositions and the Garden City Big Band recorded with the help of PledgeMe funding.
Nanako also collaborated with C-City Brothers (the rugby players from Canterbury) in 2013 for Christmas CD for “Starship Christmas Album.” Sato arranged and played the piano for “NZ Wonderland” backing music, and she also appeared in the music video.
Nanako released jazz album “Blue Skies” with her all-girls trio The Organic Jazz Band in 2014 and had successful their album release in December 2014 at the Orange Studio in Christchurch.
Nanako also is a keen teacher who teaches at Hagley College both daytime and nighttime. She is the Programme Leader of School of Music at Hagley College and also teaches Jazz Piano at Hagley Jazz Course in the evening. She has taught at Mairehau High School and Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in Christchurch previously and has also been tutoring at the Hagley Jazz Course (evening course) for more than a decade. Sato is passionate about community and is the chairperson of music teachers’ association CWSMTA (Christchurch Westland Secondary Music Teachers’ Association) and a member of Big Band Committee in Christchurch.
Nanako Sato: Prolific Musician and a “Keen Educator”
This bibliography styled outline and analysis of what Nanako has achieved and what she brings to the Christchurch/NZ music scene is exhausting to read but is by no means comprehensive. It is merely a snapshot of all that is Nanako Sato- prolific musician. She is one of the busiest, most dedicated and highly sought-after musicians in Christchurch, yet still finds the time and energy to prioritise her music students. She is a skilled and enthusiastic educator who passionately invests the very best of her experience, and ability into those who are blessed to be under her tutelage.
Kaye Grenon – Musician Mentors Musicians of Christchurch, NZ.