(Photo by Sakiko Nomura)
|Pianist and composer Hironi was born in 1979 in Shizuoka, Japan, and began piano lessons at age six. Within a year, she was a student in the Yamaha Music School Program, albeit more for composing (even at only age seven!) than for playing.
At age 14, Hiromi performed with the Czech Philharmonic, and it was at that same age that she made her initial contact with the first of three great jazz pianists who have influenced and befriended her. A friend at Yamaha Japan knew Oscar Peterson, and sent him a tape of Hiromi playing. Oscar wrote back "a really generous letter encouraging [her] to keep going". She keeps that letter to this day.
Three years later, a lucky coincidence gave Hiromi the opportunity to play for Chick Corea in Tokyo. (It's indicative of her early independence that she chose to play for him one of her own compositions rather than a jazz standard.) So impressed was he that he invited her to perform with him the following evening. This was only the first of many times they were to play together, most recently for the recording "Duet".
Hiromi attended law school for two years, although with no intention to study law, but rather to gain experience. As she puts it, "music doesn't come from music; music comes from experience". It was always her intention to be a pianist, and she moved the United States in 1999 on a full scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston.
While at Berklee, she met Oscar Peterson for the first time when she visited his home just outside Toronto, and speaks of playing his Bösendorfer while Oscar looked on. She also had the opportunity to play again with Chick Corea, and also with her mentor Ahmad Jamal, who was to produce her first recording, "Another Mind" in 2003.
Hiromi is a passionate and fluid composer with strong athleticism in her playing, and she can, and does, reference everything from J.S. Bach to Frank Zappa.
|# 1||Erroll Garner||Concert by the Sea||It's All Right with Me||Columbia|
|# 2||Glenn Gould||Goldberg Variations||Variation No. 1||Sony|
|# 3||Frank Zappa||Roxy & Elsewhere||Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?||Rykodisc|
|# 4||Ahmad Jamal||After Fajr||Topsy Turvey||Dreyfus|
|# 5||Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglovà||Once: Music from the Motion Picture||Falling Slowly||Canvasback|
|# 6||Jeff Beck||Wired||Led Boots||Epic|
|# 7||Michael Jackson||Smooth Criminal||Smooth Criminal||Epic|
|# 8||Oscar Peterson||Night Train||Night Train||Verve|
|Book||Haruki Murakami,"I Talked with Mr Seiji Ozawa about Music"|
|Luxury Item||A video camera|
Maya Kronfeld and Valerie Troutt