Hiromi was born 31 years ago in Hamamatsu, Japan. She started playing classical piano when she was five,
began learning about jazz three years later, and developed quickly. When she was 17 she met Chick Corea who
was touring Tokyo, and was invited to play with him at a concert the next day. Years later they would record a
duet double-CD. Hiromi did some studio work in Japan before moving to the United States to attend Berklee.
Ahmad Jamal was very impressed with her playing and helped her get a contract with the Telarc label before
In 2003 Hiromi formed a trio and soon made her recording debut. She gradually gained attention and went
through a period when she led Sonicbloom, a fusionish quartet that also included guitarist David Fiuczynski.
While Hiromi is impressive on electric keyboards (as can be seen on two DVDs), she is really at her best on
acoustic piano. And while her interactions with other musicians are colorful, as witness her playing as a
member of Stanley Clarke's trio this past year (where she often stole the show), to really experience Hiromi,
one needs to see her solo.
Take a look at this You Tube clip of her exploration of “I Got Rhythm” and see what you think. Not only does
she build up her solo to an impossible level, but look how much fun she is having!
Hiromi: I've Got Rhythm
Hiromi is subject to the same criticism that was given to remarkable virtuosos as Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson,
Rahsaan Roland Kirk, James Carter and Arturo Sandoval. Some who only see her uptempo romps might say
that she has too much technique (is that possible?), plays too many notes, and does not show enough feeling.
But her renditions of ballads are quite touching, and refute that. Take a look at this You Tube clip of Hiromi
playing her original “The Place To Be” which is about her hometown.
Hiromi: Place To Be
Hiromi is an incredible pianist who has her own sound, is constantly inventive, and makes every performance
quite fun. It is for those reasons that I have picked Hiromi to be the first musician showcased in the new
monthly feature Musician In The Spotlight.
|When it comes to combining virtuosity, showmanship, creativity and purefew
pianists in the world can compare to Hiromi. joy, She has distilled the history
of jazz piano, from stride to free, into her style, and infused it with her own
infectious enthusiasm. She is the most impressive pianist I have heard since