Young and up and coming jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger Kaz Araki has been described by renowned pianist and Manhattan School of music faculty member Gary Dial as "a well-accomplished musician, composer and arranger with a deep knowledge of the roots of Jazz plus playing in the modern idiom."
Vic Juris, award winning guitar player and band leader, has called him "a fantastic musician and a great guitar player."
Grammy award nominee Conrad Herwig has said his playing has "strong motivic and melodic conception with a strong time feel."
Kaz first learned to play guitar at age thirteen from his father, an accomplished amateur classical guitarist. Growing up in South Orange, NJ and later Yokosuka, Japan, he grew up exposed to and shaped by different cultures and surrounded by music of all kinds, everything from the Beatles, to Santana, Stevie Wonder, and classical Spanish guitar music. In high school, he studied piano, electric bass and snare drums, before continuing his studies at Duquense University where, as a scholarship student, he studied with world recognized music performer and educator Joe Negri. Later transferring to Mason Gross School of the Arts, the conservatory of Rutgers University-New Brunswick, he studied with such respected names as Stanley Cowell, Ralph Bown, Vic Juris, Conrad Herwig. Graduating in 2006, he played his first club date at the Blue Note as part of the Rutgers Jazz Ensemble, a group made up of Rutgers alumni, faculty and astounding players selected from the student body.
Kaz has performed his music in venues all around the tri-state area, and in Pittsburgh and Japan including Cleopatra's Needle, Iguanas, Hat City, Cecil's, Fusha, Gammeok, Satin Doll, Shadow lounge, and Crawford Grill. In February of 2014, he recorded a demo CD of his own compositions at a recording studio in Bushwick. Deeply steeped in the jazz tradition, his compositions combine lyrical melodies and colorful harmonies with swinging, propulsive rhythms.