PE'Z (ペズ Pezu?) is a Japanese jazz instrumental band consisting of five men, dubbed "The Samurai Jazz Band." They have been signed onto Sony Music Japan since 2008.
Ohyama "B.M.W" Wataru, born in Kanagawa, trumpet
Kadota "Jaw" Kouske, born in Ehime, saxophone
Nirehara Masahiro, born in Niigata, double bass
Kou, born in Tokyo, drums
Hiizumi "HZM" Masayuki, born in Kobe, keyboard & vocals
PE'Z began their music careers playing live on the streets of Shibuya in the center of Tokyo during the summer of 2000. Word of mouth spread quickly and they began pulling in large crowds which sometimes totaled up to 600.
In just three years, this small band has played in ten big outdoor music festivals all over Japan, including NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL '02 in Madaro, Mt. FUJI JAZZ FESTIVAL 2002 in Shizuoka, and Rising Sun Rock Festival in Hokkaido. In September 2002 their first full album, KUGATSU NO SOLA (September Sky) was released. They ranked at No.10 on the billboard which was an outstanding result for an instrumental band. In March 2003 they received an award for New Artist Of The Year at the 17th annual Japan Golden Disc Awards.
In August 2003 they participated in the re-mix's of a famous Japanese duo called CHEMISTRY's 8th single "Ashita E Kaeru/Us" ("Return to Tomorrow"). And also, HZM went to Shiina Ringo's nationwide tour as a keyboard player of her backing band.
In 2004, he joined Shiina Ringo's new band (Tokyo Jihen) as the member of PE'Z, but eventually left Tokyo Jihen to focus his attention back to PE'Z in the next year. He has since released a Solo Album entitled "5+2=11" under the moniker H Zett M.
On October 2005 PE'Z performed at UK's In The City along with fellow Japanese artists DMBQ and The Rodeo Carburettor. The five followed that with numerous performances in Europe (including a street-live in Amsterdam). 2006 has been a busy year for the band as they participated in both Canadian Music Week (CMW) and South by Southwest (SXSW), managing to drop a live performance in Korea in between. Their gig at SXSW was subsequently followed with their first-ever US tour, performing at New York, Cambridge, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
PE'Z is also noted for performing with Cyndi Lauper in a TV program.
Other accomplishments include the song "Boomerang Boogie", which is the theme song for the Anime series, "Gad Guard".
In September 2006, Pe'z released a 3 track EP with the British soul singer Nate James, featuring an original track, "Live for the Groove," a reworked Nate James track, "Universal," and a cover of "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes. They released their newest LP, a 32-track double cd entitled "Funny Day & Hard Night" on 3/25/2007. This was followed by a second Realive DVD, which featured the band playing an outdoor Venue, with two sets which followed the Day/Night themes of the double CD, with the first played roughly at sundown and the second at night, with house and LED lighting.
In 2007, they collaborated with suzumoku and founded pe'zmoku.