Internationally Acclaimed Pianist, Composer & Humanitarian Keiko Matsui Creates Enchanting Global Sonic Tapestry On New Shanachie Recording
New CD Unites Matsui with All-Star Line Up Including Gretchen Parlato, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, Robben Ford & Kyle Eastwood
“There is a strong spiritual quality Keiko Matsui brings to all of her creative projects.”- The Los Angeles Times
Acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui’s transcendent and haunting melodies have long sought to build bridges. Her sonic cultural exchange has reached the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world and has allowed the pianist to work alongside icons Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Hugh Masekela and Bob James. “I would like my music to be a conduit for peace, kindness, love and light,” shares the petite, soft-spoken, yet commanding pianist. She adds, “My recording Echo is my attempt to capture all of these elements into the vibration of sound.” On February 22, 2019 Keiko Matsui will release her 28th recording as leader, Echo, which she co-produced with Grammy nominated producer Bud Harner. A master storyteller, Matsui crafts exquisite compositions replete with lush harmonies and global rhythms to create timeless musical anthems. Like iconic musicians Miles Davis and Shirley Horn, Keiko is also a master at utilizing space in her music to create a backdrop of drama, tension and sheer beauty. Keiko’s most inspired work yet, Echo features numerous special guests including bassist Marcus Miller, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Robben Ford and bassist (and son of Clint Eastwood) Kyle Eastwood. The all-star line up also showcases premiere recording musicians drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist, Jimmy Johnson and guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr. and percussionist Luis Conte, as well as Keiko’s top notch touring band, Jimmy Branly, JP Mourão and Rico Belled. …
For four decades, the GRAMMY®-nominated pianist/composer/ arranger David Benoit has reigned supreme as one the founding fathers of contemporary jazz. When he was coming up, Benoit worked with singers Patti Austin, Connie Stevens, Ann-Margaret, and Lainie Kazan as her musical director/conductor. In 1976, Benoit released albums on the AVI label from 1977 to 1984. He later released several chart-topping recordings for GRP, including Freedom at Midnight (1987), Waiting for Spring (1989) and Shadows (1991), which both topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts at #5, #1, and #2, respectively. His other noteworthy recordings include Letter to Evan (1992), his tribute to another piano influence, Bill Evans, and Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: Fifty Great Years (2000). Benoit also recorded with Russ Freeman on their album The Benoit/Freeman Project (1994), and on their follow-up collaboration, 2 (2004), which was released on Peak Records. His other recordings for the label include American Landscape (1997) and Orchestral Stories (2005), which featured his first piano concerto, “The Centaur and the Sphinx,” and a symphonic work, “Kobe”.
He has received three GRAMMY® nominations in the categories of Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for “Every Step of the Way” (1989), Best Large Ensemble Performance for GRP All-Star Big Band (1996), and Best Instrumental Composition for “Dad’s Room,” the latter from the album Professional Dreamer (2000) and in 2010, David Benoit received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Smooth Jazz Awards. He has also worked with an impressive potpourri of musicians including the Rippingtons, Emily Remler, the late Alphonse Mouzon, Dave Koz, Faith Hill, David Sanborn, CeCe Winans, Keiko Matsui, Hiroshima, and Brian McKnight.