GRAMMYⓇ-winning pianist/composer Hiromi is considered one of today’s most popular jazz musicians.
Hiromi will be joined by the extraordinary string quartet PUBLIQuartet to form The Piano Quintet for one evening presented by BroadStage at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 7:30pm.
Together, they will perform compositions from Hiromi’s latest album, Silver Lining Suite.
Tickets range from $60.00—$100.00 and are available at https://broadstage.org/ or by calling 310.434.3200, or visiting the box office at 1310 11th St. Santa Monica CA 90401, opening two hours prior to performance. The Jazz & Blues Sponsors are Richard and Lisa Kendall.
“I’m just playing the music which moves my heart.”Hiromi Uehara.
Hiromi was kind enough to answer some of our questions in advance of her one-night-only performance at The Broad Stage:
Where do you find inspiration for your compositions?
Inspiration is everywhere, it is really up to me if I have the antenna for inspiration high up so that I can catch it. Even if you are walking on the same street, it is up to you if you can realize the little flower that just blossomed today.
How does your emotional response guide you as a musician?
Music can heal you when you are down, music can take you to so many places. I always want to be able to write music true to my emotions, music should come from heart to heart, not from fingers to brain, it is an emotion-based art form to me.
Who do you admire or look to for guidance or inspiration? Who have been your mentors or career guides?
Ahmad Jamal. He never stops looking for new landscape—always pushing, always exploring, always looking ahead. That’s how I want to be when I grow up.
What music did you listen to when you were growing up? As an adult?
The first two jazz pianists that I discovered when I was 8 were Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson. I started listening to jazz since I was young. During my teenage years, I was listening to more pop-rock music, and then I discovered Frank Zappa. I’m still a huge fan!
I’ve read that some people consider you a “Mad Genius” and claim you are “the future of jazz” – what do you think of those kinds of opinions or statements?
I am just focusing on my music. If people can enjoy my music, that’s great, and I am happy to be able to share that with people.
How do you want to be known as an artist?
That’s up to the audience. I don’t have any preference, I just play music.
In performance, you seem transported by the music. Where do you go? (mentally or spiritually?)
I am really focused into music, so, in performance it can be a conversation with the musicians I am playing with, and also a conversation with myself.
Do you have any ambitions or dreams to perform anywhere specific? A favorite venue or club that you hope to play at one day?
I always enjoy playing in my hometown of Hamamatsu, Japan, where I can be surrounded by family and old friends. That is very special for me.
Do you have any favorite fashion labels or designs – how would you describe your style? What do you like to wear when you perform for an audience? (Is comfort important?)
Miharayasuhiro, not just because he is my husband! I think his creations are amazing.
From the press release, about the artists:
Ever since the 2003 release of her debut, Another Mind, Hiromi has electrified audiences with a creative energy that encompasses and eclipses the boundaries of jazz, classical, and pop, taking improvisation and composition to new heights of complexity and sophistication. On her new album, Silver Lining Suite, Hiromi further exemplifies her virtuosic hybridity and emotional range, finding strength and hope amidst the turmoil of the pandemic.
Born in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1979, Hiromi’s first piano teacher, Noriko Hikida, exposed Hiromi to jazz and introduced her to the great pianists Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. She enrolled in the Yamaha School of Music and started writing music.
Hiromi moved to the United States in 1999 and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Among her mentors was jazz bassist/arranger Richard Evans, who took Hiromi’s demo to his friend, the legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal. Evans co-produced Another Mind with Jamal.
Another Mind was a critical success in North America and Japan, where the album shipped gold and received the Recording Industry Association of Japan’s Jazz Album of the Year Award. Hiromi’s astonishing debut was but a forecast of the shape of jazz to come.
In 2009, she recorded with pianist Chick Corea on Duet, a live recording of their concert in Tokyo. She also appeared on bassist Stanley Clarke’s GRAMMY®- winning release, Jazz in the Garden.
In the summer of 2021, Hiromi performed at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics.
GRAMMY®-nominated PUBLIQuartet’s modern interpretation of chamber music makes them one of the most dynamic artists of their generation. Dedicated to presenting new works for string quartet, PUBLIQuartet rose on the music scene as winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild’s New Music/New Places award, and in 2019 garnered Chamber Music America’s prestigious Visionary Award for outstanding and innovative approaches to contemporary classical, jazz, and world chamber music. PQ’s genre-bending programs range from 20th century masterworks to newly commissioned pieces, alongside re-imaginations of classical works featuring open-form improvisations that expand the techniques and aesthetic of the traditional string quartet.
PUBLIQuartet has served as artist-in-residence at top institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Sawdust and has appeared at a wide variety of venues and festivals, from Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Their latest album, the GRAMMY®- nominated Freedom and Faith, debuted atop the Billboard Classical Charts in May 2019. The 2019-2020 season brought a diverse array of programs to venues across the United States and abroad, including an appearance at the String Quartet Biennale in Amsterdam.
PUBLIQuartet’s commitment to supporting emerging composers inspired their innovative program, PUBLIQ Access, which promotes emerging composers and presents a wide variety of under-represented music for string quartet–from classical, jazz and electronic, to non-notated, world and improvised music. Other unique projects include MIND|THE|GAP, a series of group-composed works developed by PQ to generate interest in new music while also engaging traditional classical music audiences. These unique creations range from “Bird in Paris” (Claude Debussy meets Charlie Parker) to more recent extended works includ- ing “What Is American?” (an exploration of Dvořák’s beloved “American” String Quartet) and Sancta Femina (based on themes by three medieval and baroque female composers).
Founded in 2010, PUBLIQuartet is currently based in New York City.