Masaki Watanabe

Region: Vancouver British Columbia
| Born 1945, Tokyo Japan


Masaki Watanabe is a journalist/translator and a jazz musician with an international background. Born in Tokyo in 1945 to a Japanese Finnish father and a Japanese mother, he graduated from International Christian University in 1966 after which he joined Reuters news agency in London. He has since worked as a Reuters correspondent in North America and Europe, and as a newspaper columnist and reporter and later editor of Singapore Airways inflight magazine Silver Kris (Japanese edition), before migrating with his wife, son and daughter to Vancouver in 1997.

Watanabe has worked extensively as a translator, and has had two book-length Japanese to English translations published: Norio Goto’s Story of the Vancouver Asahi (Asahi Monogatari), in 2016, and Prof. Masao Nishikawa’s Socialists and International Actions for Peace 1914-1923, in 2010.

Watanabe has also been playing the guitar since age 15. Starting with a rock band at ICU, he kept up his guitar skills as an amateur over the decades while he worked in the print media in the aforementioned countries, his interest progressing from rock and pop to blues, Bossa Nova and to jazz, the last while jamming with professional jazz musicians in Singapore.

Since migrating to Vancouver in 1997, he continued to jam and gig with musicians of various levels, playing jazz & Latin standards, rock and blues. After jamming at a fringe event during the 2015 Vancouver International Jazz Festival rock, he became serious about his commitment to jazz, organizing his own gigs and jamming with top class musicians.

He now plays every Sunday in Juno Award-winning trumpeter Gabriel Hasselbach’s Super Jam at Bluemartinijazz in Kitsilano.