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Announcement of upcoming events

Jazz festival in Tokyo
       Photo: www.hiromiuehara.com

Every summer, a jazz festival is held in Tokyo. Its perennial honorary guest is Hiromi Uehara, a famous jazz pianist and a disciple of Chick Corea, a prodigiously talented, highly recognized and celebrated jazz musician and composer. Chick Corea has won 15 Grammy awards and received 51 Grammy nominations. Over the years, he launched and founded several famous jazz bands, such as Circle, Elektric Band, New Trio, Origin, and others. Chick Corea is quite well-known and popular in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States, however, for the most part, he tours North America, Asia, and Europe. His fans, the fans of outstanding jazz, are trying to keep up with his tour appearances while traveling to different countries.

Tokyo 2010 jazz festival is planned to be held in August again. Tickets are sold quickly, therefore, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up!

I cannot but share with you my impressions from a concert of Hiromi Uehara’s band.

In the beginning, there was C-minor… Hiromi ran onto the scene, dressed in black, in white sneakers, her hair tied in her illustrious tri-colored ponytail. She went straight to the grand piano. From her opening notes on, the audience was so spellbound, so mesmerizing were the sounds created by Hiromi, poignant, soulful, piercing and commanding, winged and roaring, delicate and playful, that, impulsively, I started smiling – she is one of us! Go on! When she half-rose and played, the bass was rendered in such a way, that her pianissimo was heard in the most remote corner of a 5-thousand-spectator concert hall at International Forum at Ginza, Tokyo’s central street. Hiromi’s powerful, virtuoso style of playing, with the palm of her hand and her elbows, kept everyone in suspense every single moment! Hiromi is a true lioness!

David Fiuczynski, the guitarist, dazzled everyone with his sound and inventiveness. His and Hiromi’s unison stunned everyone. It was unbelievable how the two of them could feel and hear each other; every movement, every thought was under control; their glances at each other determined all further nuances of their improvisation.

Tony Gray, the bassist, was in the groove, as usual. During his solo, the drummer Martin Valihora sent the audience soaring; even Hiromi stood up from her grand piano to let him express himself. They felt each other, as if they were one single entity, but, at the same time, they emphasized each other’s accomplishments! All compositions began in C-minor, which then was modulating to D-major, as Debussy’s prelude – “Clair de Lune”, under the moonlight, yes, yes, exactly, this translation from French is the most correct, because “it” is defined by Debussy’s music exactly “under the moonlight”. And, finally, there were a composition on the subject of a Japanese folk song in E-major, Hiromi’s solo, and the ultimate dramatic F-minor, as the conclusion of the evening – a dramatic night, Hiromi`s album Sonic Bloom. All of them are beasts! They are excellent musicians and a synergistic band.

Japanese pianists are virtuosos and they play neatly; they are an excellent and fertile material for a talented mentor, and Hiromi is a proof of this! Under Chick Corea’s mentorship, she has developed into a first-rate jazz pianist, emotional, masterful, hot, audacious, daring, and roaring; her grand piano talks and sings so expressively; at the heart of its sound is Their Majesty Rhythm. Willpower, pep, and overflowing energy – this is today’s Hiromi Uehara! Fusion jazz with Hiromi forever!

It was pleasing to see in the concert hall many compatriots, whom I invited at their request to this concert where first-rate musicians played quality jazz.

Natalia Yurkanova (YUNA-JAPAN, INC.)
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