Hiromi Uehara | Japan
World-renowned composer and pianist ; Hiromi Uehara, has been bracing the international jazz circuit ever since her 2003 debut ‘Another Mind’, where she has been quoted as saying that the voice that never speaks can sometimes be the most powerful of all.
Hiromi first began learning classical piano at the age of five; her teacher Noriko Hikida saw the potential in her playing and introduced her to jazz. By the time she reached the age of 14, she was playing with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and began making a name for herself. Her first big break happened at age 17, when she had a chance meeting with Chick Corea in Tokyo. Following this encounter, she was invited to play at his concert on the following day. After progressing towards a career in writing jingles for a few years, she decided to continue her musical education and enrol at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hiromi was mentored by Ahmad Jamal and was signed to jazz label ‘Telarc’ before she graduated.
In 2004 Hiromi released her second album ‘Brain’; she was joined by fellow Berkleealumni bassist Tony Grey and virtuous drummer Martin Valihora. She felt like the trio really clicked and has been recording and touring with them ever since. Performing at major jazz events such as the Newport Jazz Festival and Paris Olympia, her stage manner is always energetic, playful and highly entertaining; the type of performer that always pushes herself to the limits of her ability, even on stage.
This is an exciting time to be a fan of Hiromi, her latest album ‘Move’ was released in the United States on March 9th and has had a positive response from critics and fans alike. ‘Move’ encapsulates her emotive playing and demonstrates just how powerful instrumentation can be when at a hands of a virtuoso. Her piano playing dances around different dynamics, moving in between sections with flawlessly creative transitions. This is demonstrated in ‘Margarita!’ which starts with a very funky rhythmic groove, gradually progressing to an experimental section featuring one of her signature synthesizer sounds. She is clearly at the top of her game and if you’re an avid jazz listener, I would strongly recommend you explore the musical world of Hiromi Uehara.
Written by: Teto Parvanov – TETO World Music Magazine