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Keiko Matsui

Fusion/new age keyboard player Keiko Matsui grew up in Tokyo and took her first piano lesson at the age of five. Influenced by Stevie Wonder and Rachmaninov as well as early fusion masters Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea, Matsui began composing while in junior high but studied children's culture at the Japan Women's University (Nihon Joshidaigaku). She moved to the Yamaha Music Foundation in Tokyo after graduation and formed Cosmos, recording four albums with the new age group. Her first album as a leader, 1987's A Drop of Water, was released in the U.S. two years after the fact on Passport. The LP also featured her touring partner and husband, shakuhachi player Kazu Matsui, and was financed with their honeymoon money. A contract with MCA that year resulted in two albums, No Borders and Under Northern Lights. Matsui moved to the White Cat label in 1992 and began charting in the contemporary jazz charts. Her 1995 album Sapphire hit number one on the charts, and its follow-up also reached the Top Ten the following year. Whisper from the Mirror followed in 2000; Deep Blue appeared the next year. The Ring from 2002 recalled the composer's classical background, while 2004's Wildflower flirted with world music. Walls of Akendora appeared in 2005 with a smooth jazz flavor and updated version of Matsui's early hit, "Mountain Shakedown." Moyo, an album that placed Matsui's piano in an orchestral setting, followed in 2007 on the Shout! Factory imprint. After a world tour and numerous festival appearances, Matsui took some time off, eventually returning with The Road... in 2011 on Shanachie. She produced most of the disc herself -- and received help on some cuts from Richard Bona, Craig Burbridge, and Joe Chicarelli. The nine-tune set showcased Matsui's playing in a variety of settings from trio to octet. Some of her musical guests included Bona, Kirk Whalum, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Jackiem Joyner. That same year she collaborated with Bob James on Altair & Vega on eOne, which featured both pianists simultaneously sharing a single piano.

2013's Soul Quest featured all-new compositions, but its personnel included many old friends. It climbed to number six on the jazz charts and was followed by a two-year world tour that culminated in Live in Tokyo, an audio-visual disc package issued in 2015. Early the next year, while on retreat on Catalina Island, Matsui began reflecting upon her recent musical directions and commenced writing melodies toward the goal of a simpler, more organic recording. She enlisted the veteran Cuban rhythm section of bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and drummer Jimmy Branly. Peruvian guitarist Ramon Stagnero, and Venezuelan percussionist Luis Quintero, harmonicist Gregoire Maret, and a string section also assisted. The completed album, Journey to the Heart, was issued in August, marking her 30th anniversary as a recording artist. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Soul Quest

1. Dream Seeker

2. Black Lion

3. Top Secret

4. A Night With Cha Cha

5. Moving Mountain

6. Antarctica - A Call To Action

7. Soul Quest

8. Proof

9. Two Hearts

10. Stingo

x

Track List: The Road...

1. Secret Pond

2. Falcon's Wing

3. Nguea Wonja

4. Bohemian Concerto

5. Embrace & Surrender

6. Awakening

7. Touching Peace

8. Affirmation

9. Road...

x

Track List: Moyo

1. Moyo

2. A Great Romance

3. Into The Night

4. Caricias

5. An Evening In Gibraltar

6. When I Close My Eyes

7. After The Rain

8. Allure

9. Black River

10. Old Potch Road

11. Um Novo Dia

12. Marula

x

Track List: Walls Of Akendora

x

Track List: Wildflower

1. Flashback

2. Facing Up

3. Sense Of A Journey

4. Brand New Wind

5. Eldest Of All

6. Reflections

7. White Castle

8. Temple Of Life

9. Seeker

10. Stone Circle

11. Wildflower

x

Track List: White Owl

Disc 1

3. Steps Of Maya

6. Across The Sun

8. Doll

10. Safari

11. Light Above The Trees

12. The Wind And The Wolf

13. To The Indian Sea

Disc 2
x

Track List: The Ring

1. Steps Of Maya

2. Venus Of The Sea

3. Moon Circle

4. Prism

5. The Next Plateau

6. Messenger

7. Deity In The Silence

8. The Ring

9. White Owl

10. Precious Time

x

Track List: Collection

1. Mountain Shakedown

2. The Wind And The Wolf

3. Under Northern Lights

4. Light In The Rain

5. The Morning Moon

6. Believer

7. Walls Of The Cave

8. Kappa (Water Elf)

9. Secret Forest

10. In The Mist

11. Souvenir

12. The Gate

x

Track List: Black Lion (Single)

1. Black Lion

x

Track List: Journey To The Heart

1. Moving On

2. Carnival

3. The Edge Of Twilight

4. Butterfly

5. Casablanca

6. Journey To The Heart

7. Havana Nights

8. New Beginning

9. Two Harbors

10. Blue Rose

Comments

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holliestockm a n
is she still alive? Sounds a little like Bjork!
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ceveria
Saw her live this past week in Dallas, She is amazing!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Fabulous Would love to see her live
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Always loved Jen Jare & her work is quite similar, which I like.
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Absolutely one of the best composers of our time. Each song is amazing and holds so much emotion. Not a single bad track on any album. I grew up in the age of guitar solos and drum solos. Keiko's piano puts them all to shame. Pandora should have more of her music. Everyone should.
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I love her. Her music is just beautiful.
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Allure is a beautiful song. I can hear Keiko's piano playing quite well. I have heard her name on WJZR but wasn't paying enough attention. Now I see why they play Keiko's stuff so much! Thank you, Michele Sturtevant
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I saw keiko at the Berks jazz festival early in the morning in 2016,it had to be one of the best concerts I have ever seen, Im still waiting for her new album..The band she bought with her was so bri
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Far out!
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charlesburke s 3 8
really Smooth love her music.
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Just left a concert in Las vegas at the Aliante Hotel Casino featuring the beautiful sounds and stylings of Keiko a true talent.
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My husband has been a fan for 10+ years and raves about Keiko. I finally got to see her perform live in San Diego on Feb. 13, and now I'm hooked. She is a remarkable composer and musician, and I'm glad I got to experience her music.
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Saw and heard her in NYC, Paid the doorman to let me out and back to get a cd from my car for her autograph. GREAT BIG SOUND from such a petite woman. ROCK ON Keiko!!! Love you literally!!! ! !
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I was mesmerized when I first heard Keiko. And have been every since.
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Talent!!!
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Looking forward to listening to her Live in Tokyo CD
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One more time,Keiko is my hero. A unquie talent would be an understateme n t .
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She is probably the most powerful musician I have heard in many years
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Awesome talent!!!!
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Keiko is an extraordinar y musician!
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Heard/met Keiko in Orlando at The Plaza. Intimate venue AWESOME concert w/Brian Colbertson too. Did my heart good!!
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I became a Keiko fan after Moyo CD came out and she had Paul Taylor on one of her songs
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beautyofnatu r e . l g
Love her so much I need to leave another comment. Something about the haunting scales, unusual, happy yet soulful, deep and sad at the same time. Going to buy several albums and look for her tour dates. Hope she comes here...
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beautyofnatu r e . l g
Wow! This is haunting...I just bought an MP3 to support her.
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dhunter777.d j
God! This old man has been in love with Keiko longer than 2-1/2 wives
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Freeway. Relaxing but tentative good mix.

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She is the Grand Mistress of her craft.
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One of a kind fusion and the soul is emancipated. Thanks
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sbe.austin
Inspiring .. :)
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kimberlysull i v a n 6 8 6
what dates is she playing in VA?
She is awesome!
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I want to hear more, of Lady Keiko Matsui's music.
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I can't wait to see her play in Alexandria Va.and Brian Culbertson.. . . . . . O M G what a line up...at the Birchmere -Can't wait !!!!
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Discovered her music on Channel 9 during a fund raiser.It captured my ear!
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Love this lady and her music. So talented.
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One of my favorite artists of all genres of all times. Gentle sands makes me tear up almost every time. Prism is sensationall y brilliant and chilling at the bone at the same time. It might seem like an odd comparison, but I think she is comparable in her playing style to Elton John, also in my top artists of all time... in how she uses beat as a different dimension to the song.
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My wife and I saw Keiko perform at our favorite club, My Place, in Santa Monica CA, in 1987, shortly after she left her homeland in Japan to record in Los Angeles. It was her first gig in the U.S.. She was barely out of her teens. We knew from the start she was destined to make it big. She's been touring the world over since then. Last year her 29th album was released. She still looks almost as young as she did then and I think even more beautiful. She is a very rare jewel.
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Now please play Keiko's Forever Forever from this same White Owl album. Thanks.
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Beautiful
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Try this similar artist: http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / h u g o - v a z q u e z
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Been a fan of her music dince theearly 90's.
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She plays wonderful I saw her at the jazz concert
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Saw her in SF @ Yoshi's over my bday weekend. And she is a beast on the keyboards! Do your thang, Ms. Matsui!!
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Been listening to her since I was 13 and now 35 still enjoy it more than ever.
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I wish her DOLL album was here.
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love her!!!
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A true talent who has been putting out consistent albums out for some two decades now. One of the top jazz/fusion artists working today.
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eric.wullich
Every time I hear Keikos music it reminds me of falling in love. Her music was playing on the stereo in the most intimate times of our relationship . We both admire her talent and spirit.
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I can't stop listening I feel this music as it soothes my soul erh1950
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love her music its relaxing
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I have one word TALENTED!
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