Seattle, Washington, USA. Playing soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, Kashiwa studied at Berklee College Of Music, a period that was followed by a gig with the All American College Band at Disneyland in California. Having returned to the west coast, he decided to stay and extended his studies at the University of California, Long Beach. He played with the Untouchables, whose repertoire ranged through ska, reggae and R&B. He also played on three albums with guitarist Richard Smith, thus entering the field of smooth jazz of which he was to become a noted exponent. His worldwide exposure came as a result of a 10-year spell with the Rippingtons that began in 1989. Apart from several albums recorded with the Rippingtons, Kashiwa also played on saxophonist Russ Freemans Holiday, released in 1995, and he collaborated with Mark Portmann, Steve Reid, Dan Siegel and John Tesh on 1997s Sax All Night.
During this period Kashiwa formed his own smooth jazz ensemble, Coastal Access Band, and recorded two solo albums for the Fahrenheit label. In 2000, his release of Hyde Park (The Aah, Ooh Song), was a number 1 hit on US radio and records charts. In the mid-00s Kashiwa was back on the road with the re-formed Rippingtons. He also continued to lead Coastal Access, the regular personnel of which at this time comprised Jay Rowe (keyboards), Allen Hinds (guitar), Melvin Davis (bass), and Tony Moore (drums). Former Yellowjackets guitarist, Russell Ferrante, appeared with him on 2007s solo project Play.
Kashiwa has played on soundtracks for films and television shows and he has maintained his link with Disney, teaching through the early 00s with the organizations College Band programme. Kashiwa is also a member of the Sax Pack, with fellow saxophonists Steve Cole and Kim Waters, and contributor to several Acoustic Alchemy recordings.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.