Hide Tanaka (Hee-Day) was born in Tokyo on June 28th, 1956.
He started playing wood bass when he was 17. His first Bass teacher was Yoshio Ikeda. He took private lessons from Ikeda and learned important basic skills from him.
In 1981, he joined the famous Japanese jazz big band “Blue Coats” and at the same time, played various Jazz live spot like Pit Inn, Satin Doll or Body & Soul in Tokyo
In 1982, he moved to New York and started living in a small Chelsea apartment. But his initial New York life was not very easy.
He was dragged around and thrown against a shutter by a stranger on the streets of Times Square and got three stitches on his face. He quit the Japanese restaurant where he worked as a busboy after a month, because his hand started shaking from stress.
Despite these unfortunate incidents, he didn’t give up his dream of a New York Jazz Life. After he tried a few other odd jobs, he decided to quit all his side jobs in order to concentrate only on jazz. But how? He shared his small studio apartment with three men to save money and played on the streets every day. He started the Jazz Life that had always dreamed of. Although he was usually in the red, he was fortunately blessed with a lot of opportunities to play with good (sometime great !) musicians. He was very happy.
In 1984, he had a chance to play with Barry Harris at the Jazz Culture Theater as a house bassist and had been there for about 4 years. At the same time he took gigs from various live spots like Angry Squire, West End Cafe. He performed with Walter Bishop Jr, Al Corn, Cecil Payne, Hank Mobley, Benny Powell, Jaki Byard, and legendary C Sharp, Chris Anderson. At last his New York Jazz Life started to take off.
In 1991, he finally obtained his Green Card after applying for the Government’s lottery. He has a unique experience that is legend among the musicians “The man who got a Green Card lugging a wood bass into the American Embassy and started a session with the embassy staff.”
In 2005, He played with Junior Mance at “Jazz At Noon” （Cafe St. Barts) in NYC. Mr. Mance was a guest artist. Junior asked him join his trio as a regular bassist after a gig at the Knickerbocker. Now he is playing with Junior’s band all over the America, Europe and Japan. Hide plays every Sunday night at Cafe Loup on West 13th Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
In 2011 he joined young rising star, 25-years-old pianist and singer, Champian Fulton’s band. With her he played at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Rochester Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival and Detroit Jazz Festival. in 2012, he joined her first American southern tour (Washington DC, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta etc).
Hide is a proud member of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York Local 802 AFM.