Hiromi Uehara

Hiromi Uehara

Q1. Which artists have influenced you the most?

There are so many… Just off the top of my head I can mention; Frank Zappa, Errol Garner, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Horowitz, Jeff Beck, maybe even King Crimson? The list could go on and on…

Q2. What are your impressions of Yamaha pianos?

I think you must remember the piano is a melodic instrument but also very much a percussion instrument as well. So in addition to lyrical phrases, rhythms have a very important role in my music, and in solo concerts I am also my own drummer as well.
I find it easiest to create my own voice, while keeping the right groove going, on a Yamaha. The sound is bright and clear which lets me create my own tonal colors. And this is very important to me.
I listen to many great pianists and practice hard every day so I can continue to increase my palette of tones. And with the Yamaha I can sound either crystal clear, or else wrap the sound in a cloak of warm overtones. It is important for me to have a piano that lets me do this and nothing does it as well as a good Yamaha. This is the biggest reason I play Yamaha.
The work of the technician is also important. The piano must be well maintained and voiced by an expert; though unfortunately this isn't always the case all around the world.
But if the piano is a good instrument which has been well taken care of I feel completely free to create my music. I really love making friends with great pianos… My music depends on them!

Q3. What does music, or the piano, mean to you?

It is my first love and love of my life. The more I learn about the piano, I find more things that I don't know, it is never-ending exploration.
This is really interesting for me. And each piano has its own personality. I get to meet so many of them on my tours.
A piano that's been well cared for has a happy balance personality, but one that's been mistreated is sad and lonely. So each time I arrive at the hall I sit down and get to know the piano. I play it from my heart until we are both communicating well, and are ready to perform for the audiences.
I honestly feel I become buddies with the piano. After a tour I remember each of my new piano friends so well.
Sometimes at an open-air concert the piano can be in bad condition. It seems sad and even hurts me. But I'll sit down with it and spend an hour or two doing my best to bring out from it the beautiful sounds I know are inside.

Q4. Which are your favorite performance venues?

I have wonderful memories from the many different places I perform, and the many different types of concerts.
For example, there are nice intimate clubs, like the BlueNote in New York, where I have such close communication with the audience. But I also love the opposite, the huge outdoor festivals, such as Glastonbury and Fuji Rock festival, with their wide stages and massive audiences. In the clubs I can communicate with individuals, while at the festivals it is more like communicating with the crowd and energy.

Q5. Do you have a message for people learning the piano?

The more you play, the more you get. If you approach playing the piano with affection, it will return to you. Really speak to it as some people speak to their plants. I think rather than saying someone has become a better player, I prefer saying they have developed a better relationship with their instrument. When I am playing well, I lose awareness of any boundaries between myself and the piano. I don't know where I end and the piano begins.
When I think I am sounding especially good I feel like thanking the piano for its generosity. I can't make music all by myself. It is all thanks to my interaction with such a lovely instrument. Don't you think so?

Informazioni sull'Artista

Hiromi Uehara

A musical phenomenon, Hiromi gathered attention when performed Chick Corea invited her to perform with him when just 17. She already had a recording contract while still in college, and is now an award winning star known around the world.

Biografia

Born in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, in Japan in 1979, Hiromi started playing piano since the age of 6 and learned music composition at the same time at the Yamaha Music School. She performed jointly with Chick Corea at the age of 17 and made a contract with the jazz label Telarc while she was studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since making her global debut with the album "Another Mind" in 2003, Hiromi consecutively received major music awards as evidenced by receiving the New Star Award at the U.S. Surround Music Awards for her second album "Brain" and Best Jazz Act Award at the Boston Music Awards for her third album "Spiral". Hiromi performed on various occasions including at the Playboy Jazz Festival held at the Hollywood Bowl subsequent to the launch of her first standard album "Beyond Standard" in 2008. She also released "DUET", a piano duo with Chick Corea, in 2009 (launched in 2008 in Japan) and appeared on the Stanley Clarke Trio album "Jazz" in the Garden in the same year. Additionally, she is the only Japanese artist who has performed one week at the Blue Note jazz club in New York for five consecutive years. Released in 2010, the solo piano album "A place to Be" (launched in 2009 in Japan) became No.1 on the U.S. Amazon.com jazz chart and Hiromi further gained recognition by appearing on the cover of three specialized music magazines. She is continuously performing 150 concerts a year during approximately 100-day world tours.

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