The Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band was a 16 piece jazz big band created by pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi and tenor saxophone/flutist Lew Tabackin in Los Angeles in 1973. In 1982 the principals moved from Los Angeles to New York City and re-formed the group with new members under the name, The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin. Akiyoshi arranged all of the music for the band and composed nearly all of the music recorded by the two groups over a 30-year period. Tabackin served as the bands' featured soloist on tenor saxophone and flute. The two groups recorded 23 albums, toured in North America, Asia and Europe and, after the move to New York, had regular performances at the jazz club Birdland before disbanding in 2003. The bands' recordings received several Grammy nominations and regularly scored high in Down Beat magazine's critics' and readers' polls.


Awards and honors

Down Beat magazine Critics' Poll winner:[1]

Down Beat Magazine Readers' Poll winner:[2]

  • Big Band: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982
  • Arranger: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1995 (Akiyoshi)
  • Composer: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986 (Akiyoshi)
  • Flute: 1981, 1982 (Tabackin)

Grammy award nominations:[3]

Swing Journal (Japanese jazz magazine) awards:[4]

Stereo Review[5] Jazz Album of the Year: 1976 (Long Yellow Road)


  1. ^ Down Beat magazine Critic's Poll archives. (link) Archived 2007-12-10 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 10 November 2006.
  2. ^ Down Beat magazine Readers Poll winners database "archives" Archived 2009-10-01 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2010 March.
  3. ^ "The Envelope" awards database, Los Angeles Times Down Beat magazine Critics' Poll winner:[1]

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