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Tony Overwater

Atzko Kohashi


Stillness and dynamics, tenderness and toughness,
modestly and boldly....

Resonance of East and West

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Bimhuis in Amsterdam, December 2022

Despite the differences in their nationalities, cultures and backgrounds, Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi and Dutch bassist Tony Overwater found common ground rooted in jazz improvisation, in the cosmopolitan city of Amsterdam. With a shared passion for music and a deep curiosity for cross-cultural expression, this duo brings the resonance of East and West to the stage.

Atzko Kohashi, a pianist from Japan, enchants listeners with her profound stillness and delicate touch on the keys. Her artistry weaves intricate melodies that transcend borders, evoking a profound tenderness that resonates with the soul.

Meanwhile, Tony Overwater, a bassist from the Netherlands, brings an exhilarating dynamic energy to the duo. With his bass lines exuding both strength and finesse, he adds a touch of toughness to the music, pushing the boundaries of traditional jazz expressions.

Together, Atzko and Tony forge a unique path, embracing their individualities as they explore a transformative journey, where the seamless blending of cultures and music opens doors to new possibilities. 

The duo has released two albums, "Crescent"(2021) and "A Drum Thing" (2023), showcasing their exceptional dedication to their music. The albums have been well-received, earning praise for their creativity and the high aesthetic awareness of Eastern and Western influences. Notably, "Crescent" received critical acclaim and led to a nomination for the prestigious “Edison Award” in the Netherlands and "Der Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik" in Germany in 2022.


"Bill Evans once referred to jazz music as Japanese ink brush painting (sumi-e)  in his  liner notes for Miles Davis' album "Kind of Blue. Strangely enough, I feel that the uniquely Japanese aesthetic senses of "transience" and "impermanence" seem to be somehow connected to jazz. Spontaneously produced improvisations are only for the moment, and they evaporate into the air as soon as they are produced. It is reminiscent of the Japanese Zen teaching of "the aesthetics of imperfection." Our music flows as naturally as a brush stroke. You will see it in our interplay."

Atzko Kohashi

"What is interesting about European jazz is its diversity. In Europe, where many small countries border each other, just as art and culture have been nurtured as people have come and gone over the years, music has developed with a mixture of different melodies, scales, and rhythms from unfamiliar countries. Now we Dutch and Japanese musicians meet and play music inspired by each other. We are different in many ways, but like a beautiful mosaic made up of small pieces of different colors and shapes, we want to bring these differences to life in our sound. Stillness and dynamics, tenderness and toughness, modestly and boldly…, all blend together in this duo. This is surely the resonance of the sound of East and West." 

Tony Overwater



June 20 ~ 27
Kobe ~ Tokyo ~ Hokkaido ~ Yokkohama ~ Oiso ~ Tokyo
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This project is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten NL,

Embassy of the Netherlands in Japan, and Culturele Stichting Felis Catus​

Atzko Kohashi

Atzko Kohashi, who currently resides in Amsterdam, is a Japanese born pianist with an international background. By the age of 5, her musical path began by studying classical piano in Japan. From 1994-2001, Atzko lived in New York where she studied jazz piano with the master Steve Kuhn. Atzko has thus experienced three different cultures: Japanese, American and European. Such a multicultural background has surely influenced her view on music and led to her unique musical style. Whilst her musical root lies in Jazz, she adapts the melodies to her own voice. She has been working with various Dutch musicians including Frans van der Hoeven, Tony Overwater, Sebastiaan Kaptein, Eddy Koopman, Angelo Verploegen, Maya Fridman, Denise Jannah…, and has worked together and released a series of duo and trio albums with them.   

Tony Overwater

Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tony Overwater is a top bassist who has won the Boy Edgar Award and the Edison Award, the most prestigious award in Dutch jazz. While a student at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, he was discovered by David Murray who was on a tour in Europe and he joined the group, performing in concerts and on recordings such as "A Sanctuary Within" (1992). He studied with John Clayton, Charlie Haden, and Dave Holland. With saxophonist Yuri Honing's trio, he explored the fields of neo-bop and free improvisation. In the meantime, he is collaborating in Arabic and Persian music with musicians such as Kayhan Kalhor, Rima Khcheich and the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio, as well as composing music for many documentaries including the Berlin Award winning documentary Justice for Sergei and Om de Oude Wereldzee. Thus he is highly regarded for his prominent and versatile musical activities inside and outside of Europe. He is currently teaching at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.      

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Recent Albums
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Released by Jazz In Motion Records, 2023
Released by Jazz In Motion Records, 2022

 Crescent was nominated for Edison Jazz Jury Award (National category) 2022
and Der Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (The German Record Critics’ Award) 2/2022  


“Their blend of Eastern and Western influence on stage is pure magic, resonating deeply with the audience."

Cairo Jazz Festival

"Atsuko and Tony’s performance gave a life changing experience for Egyptian youth!"

                                                                                                                                                      Japan Foundation, Cairo                                                                                                                                                               Ayumi Hashimotoo


“Brilliant piano excursions with powerful bass structures in which changing rhythmic and melodic events communicate with each other.”                                                                    

Fono Forum/Stereo, Germany

Gerd Filtgen


The performance is characterized by the deep insights and rich nuances brought out by Kobashi. Tony's bass, responding to that, seems to possess its own unique philosophy. There is a deep resonance of thoughts between the two.

“In their music, nothing is obvious, nothing is random. Kohashi and Overwater adhere to the principle of Open Form, represented by all the composers who signed their works on the album.”

M. Takahashi


“Kohashi and Overwater's duet album 'Crescent' provides an excellent example of fully utilizing the potential of the score, interaction, and improvisation.”


“The musicians bring to the surface a more reflective than expressive charge of the compositions, with a poetic, dreamy aura prevailing throughout.”
Krzysztof Szamot


“The highly refined Japanese/Amsterdam based pianist Atzko Kohashi and equivalent bassist Tony Overwater invariably deliver excellent chamber jazz. Their Cresent album sounds like a musical star menu, everything is right down to the smallest details: The choice of repertoire, the acoustics, tempos and interpretations are all as delicate as they are tasteful.  

Edison Jazz Awards 2022

“Another album confirms the high aesthetic awareness and the great creative and interpretive possibilities of this extraordinary artist duo. Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater play brilliantly, are uncompromising in their narrative structure and convince with their articulatory and textural concepts. This album will not leave anyone indifferent, great music!”



“With bowed bass and deftly plucked lines, Mr. Overwater forms the melodious counterpart to Kohashi's almost classical keyboard sounds. Together they can also swing wonderfully, the warm sound of the piano and the round tone of the double bass alone are great pleasure.”


“The emotional density with which the duo of Dutch bassist Tony Overwater and Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi deal with John Coltrane compositions reveals how they have internalized the spirituality of his music.”
Gerd Filtgen


“Pretty daring to perform Coltrane's music like that in duo setting without sax, but it works. Not only are three of Crescent's pieces played with suppleness and empathy, there is also room for one of his own pieces and the well-suited, harmonically played standard What's New.”


Gijsbert Kamer

“Lonnie's Lament' is without a doubt one of the highlights of the album, with a beautiful interplay that develops in which you can dream away.”


"The beautiful sound of the music on this album is of course primarily due to the two musicians, but the location also plays a role, recorded in the Beauforthuis in Austerlitz, a former church with special acoustics.”


Jan van Leersum 

“Here is an album with a marked inspiration where Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater show a great sensitivity and a perfect communion of spirit.”


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