Akira Jimbo started playing drums at the age of 18 at Keio University in Japan, where he became a member of the school’s Light Music Society Big Band. In 1980 he joined the group Casiopea, releasing over a dozen albums and touring internationally.
Akira came to fame with the four-piece Japanese jazz-fusion band Casiopea. Casiopea was formed in 1979 by guitarist Issei Noro, keyboardist Minoru Mukaiya, bassist Tetsuo Sakurai and drummer Takashi Sasaki. The band released its first album in May of 1979, a high-energy fusion of jazz and funk augmented by a horn section consisting of top American stars Michael and Randy Brecker and David Sanborn.
On first leaving Casiopea in 1989 Akira formed the band Jimsaku. He has since played with Keiko Matsui, Shambara and many others. Over the years he’s released many solo albums, including Cotton (1986), Palette (1991), Slow Boat (1992), and Lime Pie (1994). He’s also to date released four instructional videos entitled Metamorphosis (1992), Pulse (1995), Independence (1998) and Evolution (1999).
Today his solo performances are legendary. Unlike many other clinicians who play along to sequenced backing tracks, Akira is quite capable of playing both acoustic kit and electronic kit simultaneously in real time to create amazing, complete pieces of music. Yet although he revels in complexity he is also very aware of the need to groove, to create a good feel, just like his first hero Steve Gadd.
Jimbo has also released many instructional videos and DVDs including Wasabi, Fujiyama, Metamorphosis, Pulse, Independence, and Evolution.