1989 Jazz Band to Japan
In October a ten-piece jazz combo consisting of UNO students undertook a ten-day tour of Japan under the direction of Dr. Steven Raybine. The first of the performances of the ensemble’s tour took place at Tokyo Disneyland. Their performances achieved the distinction of being the first American musical group to perform at the newly opened park. The group then traveled to Shizuoka with an official delegation from Omaha Sister Cities Association, where they presented several concerts, including a joint concert with the Shizuoka University Student Jazz Band. This gave the opportunity for UNO and Shizuoka University students to share musical ideas and develop some long-term relationships.
Like the 1986 tour of the Young Nebraskans, the UNO Student Jazz Ensemble was met with standing ovations, encores and high praise. The highly successful tour then moved to nearby Hamamatsu, where the jazz combo played a series of concerts that were enthusiastically received. After the performances, the group was treated to a rare opportunity, a guided tour of the Yamaha factory where the professional, artist model musical instruments are hand made and tested by the craftsmen employed and are exported throughout the world. Another highlight was a visit to the most beautiful Hamamatsu Castle, which houses a large museum of Japanese culture. The visit to Hamamatsu brought to a close this fantastic trip for the UNO Student Jazz Ensemble. Everyone agreed that this tour represented another highly successful international experience and that more student tours needed to be arranged in the future. There was no question that all on the trip would return to Japan at the first opportunity to do so!