Born in Kobe, Japan in 1961. and began playing organ at the age of 2 (according to my parents???), and started improvising at the age of 7. Appeared on television with my father, Minoru from 1968-1970.
At the age of 12, I started to play piano because I heard Oscar Peterson and completely fell in love with Oscar's music. I appeared on a few major jazz festivals in Japan as a pianist of a professional Big band named "TADAO KITANO and Arrow Jazz Orchestra" while attending high school. In 1980, I entered "Berklee college of Music" in Boston, MA. And was "Jazz Compositions and Arranging" major. Slowly started to gig in Boston area as a student, and finally met Gary Burton, who now is the vice president of Berklee, by the way.
In 1983, I signed the contract with CBS, and released my first and self titled album named "Makoto Ozone" which contains all of my own compositions. At the same time, I joined Gary Burton quartet, and started to tour around the world. I had my debut solo piano concert at "Carnegie Hall" as a part of "Coal Jazz Festival". I ended up recording 3 more albums for CBS, "AFTER", "Now You Know", and one CD called "Spring is Here" which contained jazz standards (this album was for Japan release back to only). Before I moved Japan in 1989, I appeared as a guest on other artist's albums such as Paquito D'rivera, Marc Johnson, Chuck Loeb, and of course, I played on Gary Burton's album, too.
In 1989, I moved back to Japan and signed the contract with JVC. Released 3 CD during that 3 yrs. "Starlight", "Paradise Wings", and an album accompanied by a string orchestra entitled "Walk Alone" (these 3 CDs are not available in the U.S. unfortunately.)
In 1994, I changed my label again to "VERVE/POLYDOR" and recorded my very first piano solo album named "BREAKOUT". The 2nd album was accompanied by a couple of great musicians. Peter Erskine on drums, and John Patitucci on bass. (Peter also has played on my other albums "Now You Know"/CBS, and "WALK ALONE"/JVC)
In 1996, I met 2 extraordinary musicians. The bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and the drummer Clarence Penn, on "The Floating jazz festival" on S.S.Norway. We immediately went into the studio and recorded an album "THE TRIO" which won the Best Jazz of Japan '97 award by Swing Journal. We recorded another album with all original compositions of Makoto's called "Three Wishes", and immediately after this project, we recorded an album entitled "Dear Oscar" which, of course, is a dedication to Oscar Peterson which also won "the Best jazz of Japan award '98 ".
I moved back to New York City this year, and the trio recently recorded a new album which has a name of "No Strings Attached". This album is to be released in Japan first on June 16th.
Now, I am so anxious to play, play and play!!