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Photo by Tsuneo Koga

With 7 studio albums, 2 live albums and a solid reputation as a must-see act, Osaka Monaurail are Japan's premiere funk orchestra. They have been recording and touring together for more than 25 years and have built on their fan base by thrilling audiences across Europe, Canada, USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand for over a decade with their dynamic show.

Formed at Osaka University's jazz society in 1992, where, in search of an ever-tighter sound, the band progressed from Basie to James Brown. Seeing the Godfather of Soul's funk template as 'the gold standard' for a rhythm combo, they named themselves after the 1975 Funk classic "J.B.'s Monaurail", appropriating the miss-spelling and setting out to be the 'new ministers of superheavy funk' for future generations.

Now, having directly toured with Marva Whitney, Fred Wesley, Martha High and Sir Joe Quaterman, as well as producing and backing solo albums for Whitney and High, they are on a mission to capture the energy, sound and excitement of funk's heyday and beyond, a sound that is as much free as it is organised and disciplined.

Expect to see a nine-piece band with sharp suits, organised steps, trumpets twirling in formation and the dynamic showmanship of charismatic singer and director Ryo Nakata. And expect to hear world-class, authentic, heavy funk.

Although the group has experienced many member changes, the most of the current line-up have been in the group for more than ten years. Osaka Monaurail as of 2018 are Ryo Nakata (vocals and keyboards); Teihei Awaji (trumpet); Shimon Mukai (tenor saxophone); Kazuaki Shimizu (trombone); Dan Hayami & Yuichi Ikeda (guitars); Tsuyoshi Ouchi (bass); Soki Kimura (drums).