Sample tracks taken from The new CD Hello Humanoids:



Here are just a few projects Toshi has been involved in. Check out the sample tracks!





Toshi Yanagi was condemned to live a life with music. Having a tenor singer father and a pianist mother, Toshi started to play the piano at the age of four, and the violin at five. When he reached eleven, he joined the Tokyo Junior Philharmonic Orchestra, showing his parents a promising future as a classical musician they always wished him to be. However, just one year later, an eight-year old Toshi saw a new dawn(*2). It was through FEN (Far East Network) radio, that he became aware of this extraordinarily distinct and organic style of music he had never been exposed to --- the rock music --- and dived right into the music by the heroes of rock, such as Deep Purple, YES, Led Zeppelin, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Lukather and Jeff Beck. Awaken by their overwhelming revelation he left his violin and piano, and instead picked up an electric guitar, to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in his musical life. 

In 1985, Toshi set foot on American soil. Spending the first year in San Francisco, he immersed himself into blues clubs every night. He played the guitar to overcome his language barrier, and soon enough he found himself performing on stage every week. A year later he moved to Los Angeles, a world-leading city where talented musicians gather to achieve their endless dreams. By joining Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Toshi absorbed jazz/fusion, soul and contemporary music, and expanded personal network at the same time. 

When Toshi graduated from Musicians Institute in 1988, he agreed to take a teaching position which the school offered him enthusiastically. After six months, he stepped out to start off as a professional guitar player. 

1992 was a year that brought him an encounter with a band which sets a major turning point in Toshi's life; Cecilia Noel & Wild Clams. Supported by top studio musicians, the band was popular at The Baked Potato, a renowned jazz club in LA. As a first Japanese in-house musician to play every week at The Baked Potato, Toshi quickly became known among the packed audience. Through this opportunity, he joined Cecilia Noel & Wild Clams' German and Cuban tour, followed by various international tours such as Sovory's U.S. and Canadian tour, including the opening act for Sheryl Crow's European tour and for Bryan Adams' Italian tour(*3), and participated in numerous recordings. 

From 1997, Toshi's career makes a big leap by making appearance in a national network TV show VIBE produced by Quincy Jones. Band master and the keyboardist Greg Phillinganes strongly urged Toshi to play the guitar in his band. VIBE was a privileged music program which aired every weekday night, featuring guest stars as Herbie Hancock, Tower Of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire and James Brown,,.etc. Playing among the biggest names gave Toshi a firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be a part of well-established musicians with a big success, and helped him develop his professional skills. 

Upon this invaluable experience, Toshi began participating in a number of world-class artist tours from 1998 including Taylor Dayne's U.S. tour and Men At Work's U.S. & Canadian tour. As an in-house guitarist, Toshi appeared in national network TV shows including NBC's "The Martin Short Show" and ABC's "The Wayne Brady Show". As a session guitarist he played on "Today Show" and "The Tonight Show" with Tony Braxton, breaking into the music scene on wheels as a LA based professional musician. 

Since 2001, Toshi is aggressively expanding his way into various projects: A Grammy winning Latin rock band La Ley's album "MTV Unplugged", Microsoft Xbox game "Forza Motorsport", and a sound track album of "Two For The Money", an Universal Pictures film starring Al Pacino. 

2004 was a notable year in Toshi's career; he was named by Eikichi Yazawa, who is known to select topnotch international musicians, to join his "Fifty Five Way" Japan tour. Returning home after twenty years, this became his first opportunity to perform and tour professionally in Japan, which included the big Budokan show. Toshi participated in Yazawa's album "Only One" the following year, and was called back again to join his next club tour "The Live House Roots". In 2006, a crowd of forty-thousand cheered for Toshi who played with Yazawa at Rock In Japan Festival held in Tsukuba, Ibaragi. 

Currently, Toshi is the in-house band member of the ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live", also playing one of the characters in the show. In order to fully enjoy his exquisite guitar play, check out the monthly performance of Shogun Warrior at The Baked Potato. With Jeff Babko on keyboards and Toss Panos on drums, there is no better place to feel Toshi's standout guitar to its fullest! 





Performed with


James Brown, Tower Of Power horns , Gavin DeGraw, Kenny Rogers, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbns, Boz Scaggs, Buddy Guy, kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jhonny Lang, Mecio Parker, Dale Bozzio (Missing Parsons), Ted Nugent, Kc and Sunshine Band, Riam Rimes, Todd Ranglen, Sheryl Crow, Coolio, Sheila E, Hall and Oates, Goege Benson, Michael McDonnell, Nancy Wilson, Aaliyah, Patty Austin, Peter Frampton, Eddie Money, Bobby Caldwell, Solt & Pepper, Little Kim, Bobby Womack, Kenny G, Dave Koz, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chaka khan, M83*, Junkie XL*, Gavin Degraw, Jackson Brown, Men at Work, Colin Hay, Eikichi Yazawa, and more

*Recording Only