Posts Tagged ‘ Keiko Matsui ’

Keiko Matsui – Journey To The Heart

Tokyo born pianist Keiko Matsui is not just a jazz player. Part of her music is emotionality but also spirituality. This is shown not only by her musical depth but also her very cordial relationship to fans and listeners. Keiko states꞉ “Journey To The Heart is my gift to my fans. I want to deliver the most beautiful and emotional experience.”

Keiko has composed all songs on the new album. She is accompanied by bassist Carlitos del Puerto, who also produced and arranged this project, drummer Jimmy Branley, guitarist Ramon Stagnero, percussionist Luis Quintero, harmonica player Gregoire Maret and JP Mouran, who plays additional guitar on Carnival.

Moving On opens the window to Keiko’s music world with the blissful radiance of a spontaneous energy. She immediately captures the attention of the listener with an incredible flow and groove. The handcrafted sound is authentic, lively and beyond the overproduced music of fellow competitors. The nearness to pianists like Bob James and David Benoit is unmistakable.

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Keiko Matsui – Journey To The Heart

JourneyToTheHeartMy melodies are my living testimony,” declares internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui. A world citizen, Matsui’s music speaks to the hearts and souls of fans around the world, transcending borders and building bridges among people who share a common appreciation of honest artistry and cultural exchange. “Music creates a oneness,” says the striking, petite powerhouse who has worked alongside everyone from Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder to Hugh Masekela and Bob James. A consummate artist, Keiko views each show and recording as a unique opportunity. “Journey To The Heart is my gift to my fans. I want to deliver the most beautiful and emotional experience.” Keiko, who has lent her voice to raise awareness for such causes as The Daniel Pearl and the Susan G. Korman Foundations says, “I feel the world is getting crazier and we need to collectively go back and recall what connects us all…our spirits, hearts and our souls.”

On Journey To the Heart, Matsui more than delivers what she has come to be loved for breathtakingly beautiful transcendent melodies that transport the listener. A master storyteller, Keiko Matsui crafts passionate and emotive songs with lush harmonies and global rhythms to create timeless musical anthems. “Every song is like its own drama,” confides Keiko. “The word ‘heart’ in the title has a double meaning. I want the music to find its way into your heart but I also mean heart, as is the creator and center of the universe. I hope the listeners will allow themselves to go anywhere with my music.”

Upon the completion of Keiko Matsui’s 2016 winter tour, the pianist, who divides her time between the West Coast and Japan, set her sights and energies on her next recording project. “I finally had a chance to slow down, so I went to Catalina Island to be free. I love the ocean. Just to be able to hear the waves and watch the sunset is healing to me. Catalina Island is where most of the melodies on Journey To The Heart were born.” The project evolved over a four month period starting in Catalina and then taking the pianist on an Eastern European tour and eventually back to California to record at Unity Studio in Hollywood. “After I completed the last album Live in Tokyo, I felt that a new chapter in my life had started. I really wanted to work in a more organic way,” explains Keiko. Continue reading

Keiko Matsui – Live In Tokyo

Japanese pianist Keiko Matsui is a gentle person, she grows as an artist to a radiant personality, when she performs live. Tokyo born Keiko Matsui devotes her life to her favorite instrument, the piano. Since her fifth birthday she loves and performs this piece of equipment. Classified as New Age or Smooth Jazz musician, she always expands her work to other genres. Blending Eastern and Western influences she has found her own style presented in numerous solo albums.

Understandably, have already appeared several live albums. Live In Tokyo, released on Shanachie Entertainment October 2, 2015, is something special. Recorded in a state-of-the-art theater in the TV Asahi EX Tower building in the vibrant nightlife district of Roppongi in Minato, Tokyo, this album offers stunning 74 minutes on CD and DVD.

The concert is part of Keiko’s Soul Quest World tour. Performing with Keiko are guitarist Chuck Loeb and saxophonist Kirk Whalum who also recorded with her the original Soul Quest (2013) album. The concert opens with Dream Seeker, the essence of their shared experience and knowledge. After the atmospheric intro, the song meanders in a delightful melody. Its lyrical narrative structure captures the listeners immediately.

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Keiko Matsui – Live In Tokyo

keiko_liveintokyoOn October 2, Shanachie Entertainment will release Live In Tokyo, the definitive concert experience from contemporary jazz icon Keiko Matsui. Recorded during a sold-out stop on her 2014 Soul Quest World Tour, the CD/DVD release showcases her stunning live show like never before. Captured in a state-of-the-art theater in the TV Asahi EX Tower building in the vibrant nightlife district of Roppongi in Minato, Tokyo, the extraordinary 74-minute journey showcases the prowess of a truly transcendent artist at her peak powers. Deftly leading the bristling affair, Matsui hypnotically gallops through electrifying extended excursions of “Dream Seeker,” “Black Lion,” and “Stingo,” all from her critically- acclaimed album Soul Quest.

Joining the improvisational mastery is long-time collaborator Chuck Loeb who adds soaring guitar on “Caricias” and “Proof” while saxophonist Kirk Whalum reprises his guest appearance on “Affirmation,” from Matsui’s album The Road… Elsewhere, Keiko delights the crowd with fan favorites “Forever, Forever,” “Safari” and “Bridge Over The Stars” before Loeb & Whalum re-join the ensemble for a show-stopping encore of “Antartica: A Call to Action” and “A Night with Cha Cha,” both cornerstones of Soul Quest.

The companion DVD chronicles the action in high definition, as this historic night unfolds before a rapturous audience. Extras on the 3-hour, 16-minute DVD include behind-the-scenes footage at the conclusion of the concert, a bonus performance of “Midnight Stone” (Adapted with “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor”) and a 13-minute alternate live version of “Caricias”. Continue reading

Keiko Matsui – Soul Quest

When a Japanese keyboardist has recorded more than 34 solo albums in America, one can say with complete justification, she is arrived. She made her debut in 1987 with the recording A Drop of Water. If you compare this album with the current, one can see the tremendous progress that she has completed all these years.

However, all of her albums have in common the goodness of heart with which she performs her music. It is significant then, that she does not speak about the quality of her music recordings, but the warmth with which she was received. “Chuck is a great producer and such a sweet human being. I got to spend time with his family and they are all beautiful, including his dog Annie and cat, Kit Kat,” recalls Keiko laughing. “I never had that kind of peaceful environment during a recording.”

Besides Chuck Loeb Keiko produced many songs on the album with drummer Narada Michael Walden. She was also joined by saxophonist Kirk Whalum and bassist Marcus Miller, among others.

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Keiko Matsui – Soul Quest

SoulQuest“Creating this album was like going on a soul quest, as I tried to figure out how to express the things I was thinking and experiencing during this past year,” confides pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui (pronounced Kay-Koe, meaning ‘happy, celebratory child’ in Japanese).  “This music energizes me and I am overwhelmed with emotion when I listen to it.  I hope people will allow themselves to go inside the music and become a part of my journey,” says the stunning, profound pianist and world citizen who is celebrating a triumphant 25 years of recording in the US. In the words of Duke Ellington, Keiko Matsui is ‘beyond category.’

The courageous, spiritually-driven and consummate artist who enjoyed the distinction of being an invited guest and performer at the second International Jazz Day, sponsored by UNESCO and held in Istanbul in April 2013, transcends boundary.  Her unique melting pot of musical influences have garnered her a devout international following. The eloquent and soft-spoken but yet deliberate musician tours relentlessly and seeks to make a genuine connection with her audience. “Everybody has so many things going on in their lives but my concerts are special for me. The music creates a oneness.  The exchange I share with my audience is the root of my energy. It’s like my mission.” Matsui has worked alongside the best including Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masekela and Bob James.

A true humanitarian, Keiko has lent her voice to raise awareness for such causes as The Daniel Pearl Foundation, The United Nations World Food Programme, Be The Match Marrow Registry and The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation. She has also lent her efforts to the continued revitalization and healing of Japan in the wake of the recent Tsunami and Fukushima disasters. “I still have these images of kindergarten teachers holding their kids in order to protect them.  I also think about all of the older people who did not make it and the children who lost parents,” reflects Keiko, the first Japanese musician to top the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. “But when I think about the people who did survive, I think that they may be the strongest souls there are. Out of this pain, I have found the greatest strength from these individuals.”  Keiko Matsui’s new recording Soul Quest, is a riveting new collection of songs that unfold like an epic journey. With an all-star cast that includes such heavyweights as producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden, guitarist Chuck Loeb, saxophonist Kirk Whalum and bassist Marcus Miller, among others, Keiko explores themes of love, loss, spirituality and environmental consciousness. Continue reading

Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2012

Promoter and event manager Christian Bößner has fulfilled his lifelong dream. If he wants to hear and see a great musician, he invites him to his Smooth Jazz Festival. His festivals in Bregenz, Munich, Austria, Mallorca and Augsburg are legend.

Musicians like Peter White, Rick Braun, Brian Simpson, Nick Colionne, Dave Koz, Jessy J, Paul Brown, Rocco Ventrella, Jonathan Fritzén, Gerald Albright, Martin Ehlers Trio, David Benoit, Walter “Chepe” Blanco, John Odio, Paul “Shilts” Weimar, Chuck Loeb, Joyce Cooling, Steve Oliver, Michael Lington, Club des Belugas, Marcus Johnson, Richard Elliot, Gabin, Chieli Minucci, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, De Phazz, Praful, Pat Appleton, Jaared, Candy Dulfer, Eric Darius, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine, Warren Hill, UNÉ and Adani & Wolf followed his invitation.

His events are varied. He surprises the audience constantly with new programs. As he always opens up new places and venues, it is also not boring for the audience concerning this aspect. But apparently is his hometown Augsburg the constant in his career as promoter. Thus, the Smooth Jazz Festival in Augsburg is meanwhile tradition and institution. Evidently provides the Kurhaus Göggingen all the elements for a successful festival.

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