Sadao Watanabe Day
Sadao Watanabe (渡辺 貞夫 Watanabe Sadao) (born February 1, 1933) is a Japanese jazz musician who plays alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone, and flute. He is known for his bossa nova recordings, although his work encompasses many styles with collaborations from musicians all over the world. He has had over ten albums reach the top 50 Billboard charts and 2 within the top 10. He has also had numerous albums reach number one on the jazz charts. Among his awards are the Order of the Rising Sun, the imperial medal of honor for contribution to the arts, and the Fumio Nanri award.
Born in Utsunomiya, Japan, Sadao first began learning music at the age of 18 and started performing professionally in 1953. By 1958 he had performed with leading musicians and quartets. In 1962 he left Japan to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1995 the college awarded him an honorary doctorate degree for his contributions to music. In addition to his musical career, Watanabe has published six photography books in Japan.