Take Toriyama, a musician who was a mainstay of the independent jazz scene in New York, has left us. He was perhaps best known for the joyous and infectious grooves he brought to Slavic Soul Party, but he lent his tremendous creative gifts to a staggering number of local bands, including groups led by Ben Monder, Yoshi Waki, Art Hirahara, Monica Heideman, Amanda Monaco, Tim Zeismer, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Anat Fort, Mark Small, Sebastian Noelle, Thomson Kneeland, Mike McGinnis, Paul Olenick, Gene Ess, Michael Bates, André Canniere, Loren Stillman, Dave Smith, Travis Sullivan, Josh Rutner, Pete Robbins, Adam Schneit, Stefan Zeniuk, Jamie Stratton, Eivind Ovspik, Curtis Hasselbring, Tim Kuhl, Justin Mullens, Tine Bruhn, Sean Conly, Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic, Ursel Schlicht, Katie Porter, Alon Yavnai, Tim Miller, Dave Allen, Michael Attias, Jonathan Moritz, Ben Holmes, Lars Jacobsen, Vardan Ovsepian, Joshua Davis, Brian Drye, Bruce Saunders, and a slew of others I'm sure I'm forgetting right now.
On Monday, May 28, I learned that Take had been found dead in his apartment. I'd grappled about whether to post anything here until there was some kind of official announcement, but today I was forwarded an email by pianist Toru Dodo asking for help spreading the word about Take's memorial:
There will be a farewell party and funeral for drummer Take Toriyama this coming Sunday.
Donation for his family are deeply appreciated. Please give it to Yoshi Waki who is in charge for this party.
Sunday, June 3
1 PM - March and Farewell party
March starts at Prospect Park area then go to Barbès (in the corner of 9th St. and 6 Ave. Brooklyn)
6 PM - Funeral at NY Buddhist Church
331-332 Riverside Dr. bet. 105th St & 106th St., Manhattan
I would also like to invite Take's many friends and colleagues in the New York jazz community and beyond to share their remembrances of him in the comments below. He will be sorely missed.
UPDATE: Here is the statement from Take's Slavic Soul Party bandmates, which has been posted to the Barbès website:
As many of you already know, our dear friend and colleague drummer Take Toriyama tragically died over Memorial Day weekend. There will be a march in his honor with members of Slavic Soul Party and other musicians leaving from Prospect Park this Sunday at 1pm and arriving at Barbès shortly thereafter for an informal gathering in his memory. We hope that his many friends and the many musicians he worked with will be able to attend. His parents and brother will be present. There will be a collection pot for private anonymous contributions that will help his family cover the expenses of their trip from Japan and of the funeral arrangements.
We will gather, this Sunday at 1 PM, at 9th St. and Prospect Park West (parkside) and then proceed to Barbès.
Finally, here's a picture I took of Take playing with Slavic Soul Party at the Knitting Factory in January of this year:
And here's a video of Take performing with Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic's BOMB X in March: