Jazz Quest is a 15-piece big band of high school and college students from Niigata, Japan, a coastal city located 200 miles west of Tokyo. The band is led by high school educator Hideo Tsujimoto and accompanied by world-class trombonist and arranger, Mark Marin, an American living in Niigata.
The band specializes in the music of Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Duke Ellington is revered in Niigata because of his generosity following a devastating earthquake in 1964, at which time he cancelled his Hawaii tour in order to perform a charity concert in Tokyo in support of the Niigata earthquake victims. In 2018, Jazz Quest was the winner of a national high school jazz big band contest, performing the music of Duke Ellington.
Jazz Quest has deep roots in the Sacramento area because the band leader and most of the band members have stayed with area families previously as part of a cultural exchange homestay program that has spanned 40 years.