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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Talent leaping into craft marks this pianist's tightly woven compositions." - San Francisco Magazine, October 2001


"The program said 'Art Hirahara Trio,' and that was enought to ear a priority spot on my schedule...Hirahara's approach seemed to change from minute to minute in a wonderfully complex mélange." - allaboutjazz.com, October 2001


"...But the [Monterey Jazz] festival opened as scheduled Friday night with the Art Hirahara Sextet at the outdoor Garden Stage. The San Jose native's ensemble lifted spirits and blew away the clouds of worry." - San Jose Mercury News, 9/25/01


"…Among those on hand is Hirahara, an excellent young pianist who's rapidly coming into his own. Born and raised in San Jose, Hirahara has developed a harmonically rich compositional style that's full of lush voicings and lithe melodic lines." - San Jose Mercury News, 8/01


"One of many in the CalArts diaspora to land in the Bay Area, pianist Hirahara arrives with a sure sense of jazz composition. Rocking both sides of the Bay in Idris Ackamoor's Cultural Odyssey and Oakland Asian Cultural Center's Asian Crisis, Hirahara has liquid chops. Able to make any and every musical style flow together, he frequently shifts rhythmic currents beneath his players, uncovering new wealth even in heavily mined veins such as the Kern-Hammerstein classic "All the Things You Are." On his sextet's debut CD, "Edge of This Earth," Hirahara demonstrates an equal ability to step out and span the globe in solos that range from plangent splashes of Blue Note to the percussive, microtonal quality of bop's hard reign upon the keyboards…" - East Bay Express, 2/16/01


"Keys master Art Hirahara steps forward with a splendid new CD…Hirahara has served as an official "jazz ambassador" to the Middle East and South Asia, has played locally and puts his unique spin on influences ranging from Billy Strayhorn and Tom Harrell to Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau." - San Francisco Bay Guardian, 2/14/01


"… Hirahara's tunes are excellent vehicles for his band… Hirahara is very forceful on piano, percussively beating out notes from the keyboard to set the tone for the band. He develops his solos using a plethora of notes, and his improvisations transmit substantial energy that becomes motivation for the band to reciprocate in kind… Hirahara has taken a format that has been exhaustively explored in Jazz, yet he manages to breathe fresh life into it with his enthusiastic playing and formidable compositions. It is a solid outing." - Cadenca, vol. 27, no. 9


"Art Hirahara…puts his considerable chops to use both compositionally and as a piano player on his first self produced CD… Hirahara gives plenty of room for his players to interact with the feel of the tunes and with each other, giving the ensemble more than just a 'made in the studio' sound."


- jazzwest.com, 2/01


Discography

"Edge of This Earth" is a self-produced album that was released in 2000. The record is distributed in Japan through Music Camp:
http://www.m-camp.net/

Several tracks received nationwide airplay on the nationally syndicated Jazz with Bob Parlocha radio show.

The record has been re-issued by web label taymusic.net where several downloadable samples are available:
http://www.taymusic.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1423&

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Art Hirahara is a jazz pianist/composer, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, now living in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in jazz piano performance at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA and a Bachelor of Music degree in Electronic and Computer Music from the Oberlin College Conservatory in Oberlin, OH.

In the fall of 1996, he was selected by the Arts America office of the U.S. Information Agency to serve as a "Jazz Ambassador" on a seven week tour in Qatar, Yemen, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where he performed, lectured and conducted workshops with local musicians.

Art has performed regularly as a freelance musician at public performances, festivals, private events and at venues on the West and East Coasts. He has performed with noted musicians including Dave Douglas, Vincent Herring, Akira Tana, Rufus Reid, Wadada Leo Smith, Scott Amendola, Todd Sickafoose, Hafez Modirzadeh, royal hartigan, Anton Schwartz, Marcus Shelby, Ray Sandoval, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra, Bob Kenmotsu, Mike Zilber, San Jose Taiko, and Helcio Milito.

Art has performed at major festivals including the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle and the Jazz Ost-West Festival in Nuremburg, Germany. He performed with his sextet at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2001. He has also appeared at many festivals in the Bay Area including the Stanford Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Jazz on the River (Russian River) and Jazz on the Hill (San Mateo). Art has also played in Japan at venues in Kyoto, Yokohama and Kyoto and at venues in Beijing, China.

He is a founding member and co-artistic director of the pan-Asian percussion group, Asian Crisis.