Jeff Kashiwa is a jazz saxophonist native to Seattle who became known on the music scene in 1989 as a member of popular fusion jazz group The Rippingtons. Kashiwa joined The Rippingtons following Brandon Fields, exit from the group. Kashiwa prepared himself for the role by learning every song in the group's library prior to being hired, making his eventual step into Field's large shoes seemingly effortless. Kashiwa recorded his first two solo albums, ("Remember Catalina" and "Walk A Mile"), during his tenure with The Rippingtons. In 1999 Kashiwa left the group to concentrate on a solo career with his own band, Coastal Access, which included Melvin Davis (Bass), Allen Hinds (Guitar), Dave Hooper (drums) and Dave Kochanski (Keyboards/Synths). Eric Marienthal and Paul Taylor both covered the sax player spot in The Rippingtons for a few years, but Kashiwa rejoined the group in 2007 for their 20th Anniversary Tour, and continues to appear with the group on occasion.
In 2004, Kashiwa called on some of his saxophone peers and started a new group that would feature the instrument, as well as their collective musical passion for jazz, funk and R&B. "The Sax Pack" features Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole & Kim Waters. Along with being cohesive musically, the trio share a unique and comical camaraderie on stage. The Sax Pack released two CDs, "The Sax Pack" (2008) and "The Pack is Back" (2009) on Shanachie Records.
Kashiwa plays soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute and the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). His involvement in music encompasses composing, producing, performing and teaching.
Kashiwa attended Berklee College of Music in 1981-83, where he developed an interest in straight-ahead jazz. Kashiwa later transferred to Cal State Long Beach and received his Bachelors Degree in Music in 1985. Kashiwa currently teaches Music Technology courses at Shoreline College, as well as private music lessons for students of all ages.