Ajate edit groupe _ copyright Gilles GUYON



Formed by leader John Imaeda, who recognized the African DNA in Japanese musical sounds after studying abroad in Ghana and Burkina Faso. The group’s groove is created by Edo festival-style taiko drums and Nigerian Afrobeat-inspired bass and guitar, while their own bamboo instruments run wild, shinobue flutes soar through the air, and their energetic voices pour out dance music that requires no understanding.

Their second album “ABRADA,” released in April 2017 as a completely self-produced album, was well received overseas and was released worldwide as an analog disc by the French 180g label in November.

In May 2018, the band toured France, performing in seven locations, beginning with an appearance at the festival LE PRINTEMPS DES NEFS in Nantes, France. In December of the same year, they performed at the international festival “Transmusicales 2018” and the KEXP live show recorded in Rennes is now being distributed worldwide.

In July 2019, KEXP will go on its second tour of France, performing at the Eco-Festival Terres du Son, which also features Seun Kuti and Fatoumata Diawara, among others.

On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2020, they released them third album “ALO” as a CD, and in March of the same year, an analog version was released on the French 180g label. 2020 Corona Disaster will challenge his own line of distribution programs, including “Ajate Appreciation at Home” and “Ajate TV”.

In 2021, they will also release his first 7inch EP “Emisa Lasso”. Gradually attracting attention in Japan, they performed at Japan’s largest world music festival “SUKIYAKI MEETS THE WORLD” in October 2021.
The following year, in May 2022, they performed at the FUJI&SUN MUSIC FESTIVAL.

In July 2022, they toured France again for 21 concerts, performing in front of 10,000 people at “Festival Bout Du Monde,” one of the largest festivals in Brittany, France.

In the summer of 2023, the band toured Europe again. They performed at the “Vienne Jazz Festival”, an international festival held at the famous ancient theater in France. You can watch the performance on youTube Ajate channel.
They also performed at WOMAD UK 2023, the world’s beggest world music festival.

Currently, on the first Thursday of every odd-numbered month, They host the “Ajate Appreciation Party” at ROOTS in Shibuya, which will finally enter its 7th year in 2024.


– Junichiro “John” Imaeda : Piechiku (Bamboo guitar), Vocal, Chorus
– Yukio “Gen” Sato : Vocal, Chorus, Take (Bamboo cylinder)
– Takako Uchida “PEPPERMINT U” : Vocal, Chorus, Tamasudare (A bamboo prop for the
traditional busking in Japan)
– Kazuki “Cho-san” Chonan : Shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute)
– Noriko “Nyori” Ota : Jaate (Bamboo xylophon)
– Tomohiko “Kick-Rin” Kikuchi : Bass
– Yugo Akamatsu : Kane (Japanese traditional metal percussion)
– Keigo “Shin-san” Yamada : Shime-Taiko (Japanese traditional high-pitched drum)
– Masaho “Doncic” Tamura : Ohdo (Japanese traditional low-pitched drum)