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Hiromi: The Grand Caravan

2020-08-16
Showtime: 8:00PM
Doors Open at 6:00PM

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[ Complete Show Schedule... ]
Hiromi: The Grand Caravan
FEATURING:
Hiromi (Piano)
Adam O'farril (Trumpet)
Freddie Hendrix (Trumpet)
Josh Deutsch (Trumpet)
Bria Skonberg (Trumpet)
Lakecia Benjamin (Alto Saxphone)
Adison Evans (Alto Saxphone)
Tivon Pennicott (Tenor Saxphone)
Alejandro Aviles (Tenor Saxophone)
Jason Marshall (Baritone Saxophone)
Frank Cohen (Trombone)
Saunders Sermon (Trombone)
Alan Ferber(Trombone)
Dan Levine (Trombone)
Yasushi Nakamura (Bass)
Obed Calvarie (Drums)

“I don't want to put a name on my music. Other people can put a name on what I do. It’s just the union of what I've been listening to and what I've been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don't need to give it a name.”
– Hiromi

Japan has produced an impressive assemblage of jazz pianists, from Toshiko Akiyoshi and Makoto Ozone. And now, well into the change of the 21st century, the pianist/composer Hiromi is the latest in that line of amazing musicians. Ever since the 2003 release of her debut Telarc CD, Another Mind, Hiromi has electrified audiences and critics east and west, with a creative energy that encompasses and eclipses the boundaries of jazz, classical and pop parameters, taking improvisation and composition to new heights of complexity and sophistication. Her latest album, the vivid solo piano outing Spectrum, offers a dazzling evocation of the vibrant array of colors that imbue her music.

With her 2009 solo debut Place to Be, Hiromi decided to go it alone once a decade in order to capture the ways in which her experiences and personal growth had shaped her sound during the preceding years. Recorded shortly before her 40th birthday, Spectrum celebrates the maturity and depth that have enriched Hiromi’s composing and playing over the course of her 30s, years in which she’s crisscrossed the globe thrilling audiences and embarked on collaborations with some of jazz’s most inventive artists.



“The sound of a pianist changes with age and with every experience in life,” Hiromi says. “I wanted to set these milestones so that I can see from the outside how I’ve changed and grown.”

Born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan on March 26, 1979, Hiromi’s piano lessons started when she was six. Her first teacher, Noriko Hikida, encouraged her to access both the intuitive and technical aspects of music, introducing the concept of color to her approach to the piano. “Her energy was always so high, and she was so emotional,” Hiromi says of Hikida. “When she wanted me to play with a certain kind of dynamics, she wouldn’t say it with technical terms. If the piece was something passionate, she would say, ‘Play red.’ Or if it was something mellow, she would say, ‘Play blue.’ I could really play from my heart that way, and not just from my ears.”

Hikida also exposed Hiromi to jazz and introduced her to the great pianists Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. She enrolled in the Yamaha School of Music at age six and started to write music at that time.

Hiromi moved to the United States in 1999, and she matriculated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, which extended her artistic sensibilities. “It expanded so much the way I see music,” she says. “Some people dig jazz, some people dig classical music, some people dig rock. Everyone is so concerned about who they like. They always say, ‘This guy is the best,’ ‘No, this guy is the best.’ But I think there are so many great ones. I really don’t have barriers to any type of music. I could listen to everything from metal to classical music to anything else.”

Evans co-produced her debut album, Another Mind, with Jamal, who has also taken a personal interest in Hiromi’s artistic development. “She is nothing short of amazing,” says Jamal. “Her music, together with her overwhelming charm and spirit, causes her to soar to unimaginable musical heights.” Another Mind was a critical success in North America and in her native Japan, where the album shipped gold (100,000 units) and received the Recording Industry Association of Japan’s (RIAJ) Jazz Album of the Year Award.

Hiromi achieved a number of milestones in 2009. She recorded with pianist Chick Corea – who she met in Japan when she was seventeen on Duet, a two-disc live recording of their transcendent, transgenerational and transcultural duo concert in Tokyo. She also appeared on bassist Stanley Clarke’s Heads Up International release, Jazz in the Garden, which also featured former Chick Corea bandmate, drummer Lenny White.

In 2011, The Stanley Clarke Band album, featuring Hiromi, won the GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. While on the road, Hiromi started writing music for her follow-up, Move, released in 2013. That same year, she had several impressive placements in DownBeat magazine’s 61st Annual International Critics Poll, in the Jazz Artist, Piano, Keyboard and Rising Star: Piano categories. In 2013, she performed at George Wein’s Newport Jazz Festival and also performed there for the festival’s sixtieth anniversary in 2014.

Alive, released in 2014, heralded the return of The Trio Project, featuring Phillips’ powerful, yet poetic percussion and Jackson’s flowing, glow-in-the-dark basslines beautifully buoying and supporting Hiromi’s ingenious and impassioned improvisations. Her evocative and expansive compositions evoke the myriad moods and mysteries of life and reveal the soulful, syncopated simpatico of her thrilling threesome. Her tenth CD, Spark, also featured the trio, this time igniting her most narratively sweeping and emotionally overflowing set of music to date. No wonder DownBeat magazine proclaimed the terrific triad as “one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today.”

Spectrum is the latest chapter in Hiromi’s ever-evolving musical life. “I’m hungry to learn,” she told DownBeat magazine, “so I’ll always keep my big ears open fully, ready to learn every single minute that I play.”

 

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