Seattle native, Jeff Kashiwa knew he was destined to be a musician following his introduction to woodwinds in elementary school in the Shoreline School District. His instincts were correct. He became known as one of the most compelling young saxophonists in contemporary jazz during his first year with The Rippingtons back in 1989. Kashiwa performed hundreds of shows all over the world and appeared on many of the band’s classic recordings.
Having established himself in the 1990’s as one of the most diverse saxmen in contemporary jazz during his decade long tenure with The Rippingtons, Kashiwa’s instincts led him to more dynamic endeavors through his solo career. It surprised many when Jeff left the group to venture out on his own, but he had things to say through his own music.
In 2004, Kashiwa founded The Sax Pack, a trio of saxophone headliners, featuring himself, Steve Cole and Kim Waters. The group released three CDs together and charmed audiences with their Rat Pack style reparte’ in tours across the U.S. and abroad.
In 2006, Jeff reunited with The Rippingtons for their 20th Anniversary Tour and continued to record and tour with the group until 2016. In addition to touring with The Sax Pack and his own group, Kashiwa has expanded his career to include the realm of music education. He now teaches in the same school district where it all began teaching various music ensembles and online Music Technology courses at Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Washington.
Kashiwa is now releasing his 10th solo CD titled Fly Away. Featured on the CD are his band, Coastal Access; Melvin Davis-bass, Dave Hooper-drums, Allen Hinds-guitar, Mark Stephens-keys, Ronnie Gutierrez-percussion as well as a string and brass section. This CD also features guest performances by Marc Antoine, Tom Schuman, Ricky Peterson, Ray Ysles, Steve Reid and the late great Ricky Lawson.