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Uehara, Hiromi

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Japanese pianist Hiromi brings her band Sonicbloom to the Blue Note just over a month after releasing her latest CD on Telarc Records, titled "Beyond Standard." Unlike her last three CDs for Telarc that feature her original music, Hiromi tackles standards here, and as expected, they are standards from all different types of music. She brings her unique, dazzling approach to tunes like Rodgers' "My Favorite Things," Debussy's "Claire de Lune," and Middleton's "Led Boots" among others. Hiromi will tackle these standards and more at the Blue Note from July 22-27, which will surely speak to music lovers of all genres.   Hiromi Uehara first mesmerized the jazz community with her 2003 Telarc debut, Another Mind. The buzz started by her first album spread all the way back to her native Japan, where Another Mind shipped gold (100,000 units) and received the Recording Industry Association of Japan's (RIAJ) Jazz Album of the Year Award. The keyboardist/ composer's second release, Brain, won the Horizon Award at the 2004 Surround Music Awards, Swing Journal's New Star Award, Jazz Life's Gold Album, HMV Japan's Best Japanese Jazz Album, and the Japan Music Pen Club's Japanese Artist Award (the JMPC is a classical/jazz journalists club). Brain was also named Album of the Year in Swing Journal's 2005 Readers Poll. In 2006, Hiromi won Best Jazz Act at the Boston Music Awards and the Guinness Jazz Festival's Rising Star Award. She also claimed Jazzman of the Year, Pianist of the Year and Album of the Year in Swing Journal Japan's Readers Poll for her 2006 release, Spiral. Hiromi continues her winning streak with the 2007 release of Time Control.     Born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1979, Hiromi took her first piano lessons at age six. She learned from her earliest teacher to tap into the intuitive as well as the technical aspects of music.     Further into her teens, her tastes expanded to include jazz as well as classical music. A chance meeting with Chick Corea when she was 17 led to a performance with the well-known jazz pianist the very next day.    

 

After a couple years of writing advertising jingles for Nissan and a few other high-profile Japanese companies, Hiromi came to the United States in 1999 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. For as open as her musical sensibilities had already been when she came to the U.S., the Berklee experience pushed her envelope even further.    

 

At 26, Hiromi stands at the threshold of limitless possibility, constantly drawing inspiration from virtually everyone and everything around her. Her list of influences, like her music itself, is boundless. "I love Bach, I love Oscar Peterson, I love Franz Liszt, I love Ahmad Jamal," she says. "I also love people like Sly and the Family Stone, Dream Theatre and King Crimson. Also, I'm so much inspired by sports players like Carl Lewis and Michael Jordan. Basically, I'm inspired by anyone who has big, big energy. They really come straight to my heart."     But she won't, as a matter of principle, put labels on her music. She'll continue to follow whatever moves her, and leave the definitions to others.    

 

"I don't want to put a name on my music," she says. "Other people can put a name on what I do. It's just the union of what I've been listening to and what I've been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don't want to give it a name."       

 

For an inside look and more information on Hiromi's "Beyond Standard," go to <http://www.telarc.com/hiromi> www.telarc.com/hiromi  

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