Keiko Matsui, Wed. August 15, 2012


Keiko Matsui
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kuumbwa Jazz

“…one of the brightest stars in instrumental music…” –
Keiko Matsui’s
energetic piano performances have made her into an international star. With a career spanning three decades, transforming through jazz/fusion and smooth jazz to new age and world beat, Matsui has spun all of it into a personal amalgam of her own. Her compositions can dance right through funky rhythms into ethereal resonances, blending both Western and Eastern musical influences. Whether highly energetic, or contemplative, Matsui’s other-worldly improvisations and earthbound soulfulness have earned her a devoted following. Keiko’s latest CD is called The Road….(Shanachie Records).

Although she now lives in Los Angeles, Keiko Matsui (nee Doi), was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1963. Keiko began classical piano lessons at age five. By her early teens she had developed  keen interests in jazz and composition, as well as American popular music. She notes at the time some of her favorite composers were Rachmaninoff, Stevie Wonder, and Chick Corea. She was an ace student while attending music studies at the Yamaha Music Foundation, learning the Yamaha System. She did so well that Yamaha sponsored her early recordings, seven of them, with the jazz/fusion group Cosmos, starting when she was only seventeen. Two years later, she recorded her debut solo album, A Drop of Water. The success of her solo album led to a record deal with MCA, and the beginning of a string of recordings that reached the top of the Billboard charts, establishing Matsui as an international artist. Keiko received the 1999 Oasis award for Best Female Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year, and a second time in 2000. The following year, her album, Deep Blue, stood at the top of Billboard’s Top Ten Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, in the number one position for several weeks.

Matsui places a heavy premium on the spiritual side of music, believing that it has a nurturing effect on listeners. The metaphysical influences are often reflected in the titles she chooses for her compositions. Keiko’s music has changed over the past two decades, moving from jazz fusion to introspective, contemplative new age-style musings to smooth jazz grooves. But she has also explored the rhythms and modalities from a variety of folkloric traditions, Latin, Brazilian, with detours into straight-up funk. Her desire to try new approaches keeps her fans intrigued with each step of her musical evolution, and coming back for more of what Keiko Matsui does best, composing and performing music from the heart.

Keiko Matsui

DATE: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $28/Adv $31/Door, No Jazztix or Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Jack Leitenberg

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