TOMOYA "TOMO" OGAWA
TOMOYA OGAWA / 小川智也
Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, Tomoya “Tomo” Ogawa is a musician based in NYC. He has been active as a guitarist, composer, and producer in various styles of music including jazz, rock, R&B, Latin, and many others. He is also the founder of the TOMOYA OGAWA Project.
His versatility of style has allowed him to perform at such prestigious music venues as The Bitter End, Groove, Rockwood Music Hall, The Red Lion, Bowery Electric, the Metropolitan Room, and The Middle East. In addition, he has been invited to perform at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration (Philadelphia, PA 2014), the Kanayama Minami Music Festival (Nagoya, Japan 2015), Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Fest (Washington DC, 2014/17/19), Sakura Matsuri NYC (Brooklyn, NY 2022), and the Brewster Fall Festival (Brewster, NY 2022).
As a prominent guitar player, Tomoya has performed with numerous outstanding musicians such as Tommy Campbell (Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins), Kuni Mikami (Lionel Hampton, Barry Harris, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Cab Calloway Orchestra), Marko Djordjevic (Matt Garrison, Wayne Krantz, Bill Frisell), Jonathan Toscano (Omar Hakim, Rachel Z, Kurt Rosenwinkel), The Royal KJ (Michael Brecker), and many others.
Tomoya has been touring along the East Coast and Japan as a guitarist and songwriter for the art rock band Lotus Verry, of which he is a founding member. The band has recorded with Grammy-winning engineer Akihiro Nishimura, releasing the EP “Opacity” in 2015 and the single “Flow” in 2016. In 2018, the band performed at the premiere exhibition of the picture book “Poupelle of Chimney Town”, written by Akihiro Nishino, a renowned Japanese picture book author and comedian. The band were also invited to perform at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC in 2019, as well as J-Summit NY from 2014 to 2019.
In 2013, Tomoya joined a NY-based J-punk band UZUHI, which was invited to perform at OTAKON, an annual convention that has celebrated Asian pop culture since 1994. In the same year, Tomoya took part in “The Standing Egg Tour”, which was sponsored and supported by Delta Airlines, with UZUHI, in collaboration with the Ricecookers and Kagerou in the US.
In 2020, Tomoya was invited to the consulate general of Japan’s NY collaboration art project. Tomoya composed “You Sing, I Swing” on commission from the painter Takashi Harada to accompany his painting “Yanagi”. In 2021, Tomoya released a single EP “I Wish I Could Melt Down into Your Heart” mixed by three-time Grammy-winning engineer Denise Barbarita and featuring Meg Johnston on vocals.
He studied jazz improvisation and music theory at the Koyo Conservatory of Music in Kobe, Japan, winning the “Best Player” award in an in-school competition. He graduated magna cum laude from Berklee College of Music in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Composition and Guitar Performance. At Berklee, he studied jazz composition with Greg Hopkins, Ken Pullig, and Bob Pilkington, and studied guitar with Tim Miller, Dave Gilmore, and Brett Wilmott.
Currently, Tomoya is a music host and weekly performer at The Barn Coffee Shop, Astoria, NY. He also performs with various groups such as Quintic Function, OtO-LOgue, Groove Trapz, and many others.