Tomoko Iwamoto, violin, started playing the violin at age 6. Having a mother who was one of the early Suzuki Method pupils, Tomoko soon became one of the most advanced students in the studio. Along with solo repertoire study, she also enjoyed playing with orchestras and chamber ensembles. After graduating from Osaka Kyoiku-dai Tennoji High School, Tomoko moved to Tokyo. She majored in electrical engineering at Keio University, but spent a lot of time playing jazz saxophone and singing in the R&B band. She graduated from college in 1988, and worked as an engineer in Tokyo for a year before moved to the U.S. to pursue her career as a musician.
Tomoko was a scholarship student at Berklee College of Music (1990-1993), where she studied with Sharon Leventhal (classical violin), Matt Glaser (jazz violin), Herb Pomeroy, Greg Hopkin and Ken Pullig (jazz arranging and composition). Being a “jazzy” violinist, Tomoko has performed with groups representing styles from classical, rock, pop to jazz to world music, demonstrating a great sense of improvisation. Tomoko leads a gypsy jazz quartet “440” and is also a member and composer/arranger of J-Way (jazz string quartet) and Axis Electric Strings (Top 40 songs). She provided arrangements and performed as a soloist with Mood Swings Orchestra (jazz big band), and wrote many grade school level arrangements for Newton All-City Orchestra. Besides being a jazz musician, Tomoko continues to perform classical music with Plymouth Philharmonic, Lexington Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Woodvale String Quartet, just to name a few.
Mark Chenevert, clarinet, has been playing clarinet and tenor sax in the Boston area for some forty years now,working with various projects including Limbo Race (1982 WBCN Rumble winners), Willie Alexander, and Hypnotic Clambake. Currently, besides 440, he works with the Hot Tamale Brass Band, David Champagne, Bertrand Laurence and others. You can find out more by visiting his website: www.markchenevert.com.
Jack Soref, guitar, graduate of Berklee College of Music, became captivated by the music of Django Reinhardt after attending the International Django Reinhardt festival in Samois-sur-Seine France in 2002. Jack spent half a year living in Paris France in 2011, where he jammed with the legendary guitarist Boulou Ferré and violinist Florin Niculescu. Jack can be seen regularly in the greater Boston area playing Django's music, with a myriad of local musicians. Out in the wider world, he has performed as an accompanist for Jazz Manouche luminaries like Joscho Stephan, Tim Kliphius, Gonzalo Bergara, Jason Anick, Olli Soikkeli, Adrien Moignard, Ben Powell, Aurélien Bouly, and Titi Bamberger.
Sven Larson, upright bass, is a Boston based acoustic bass and electric bass player who has been playing professionally since 1991. Born in Ohio, Sven came to Boston in 1995 and began studying with bass virtuoso Steve Neil. Sven continued to learn, perform, and record in many genres, while becoming an in demand bassist on the local jazz and blues scene. He has also studied different styles of music, including Hindustani Classical music and West African Drumming. Sven has played on many bandstands across the US, Canada and Europe including Symphony Hall, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and King Biscuit Festival to name just a few. He has performed with Toni Lynn Washington, Charles Neville, Michelle Willson, Roses Pawn Shop, Albert Cummings, Nicole Nelson, and others.
He was a founding member and composer for the modern jazz group The Infinite Ensemble and world music groups Bangalore and Little Bang. Currently he keeps a full schedule as a sideman to many local artists, as well as teaching 35 students a week both privately and at Needham Music. Sven's full time groups include The Luna Collective, a hard bop quintet. He is in the process of composing and recording for both his new Latin project the Sven Larson Extravaganza, as well as his 8 piece Mad Viking Mini Big Band.