With over a million and a half albums sold and sold out concerts around the globe, keyboardist Keiko Matsui is a citizen of the world and one of the brightest stars in instrumental music.
Earlier this year, Shanachie Entertainment released Keiko Matsui’s The Road…, her 22nd album and a follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 South African inspired Moyo. Building on the success of the album’s first single “Affirmation,” featuring Kirk Whalum on saxophone, Ms. Matsui recently filmed a sublime music video for the majestic title track which features another preeminent sax player, Jackiem Joyner. Directed by Phil Lee, the video showcases breathtaking aerial views of Keiko playing a white grand piano in the Mojave desert along the outskirts of Palmdale, CA.
The lush impressionistic choreography in the video for The Road… echoes Keiko’s visionary musical ability throughout the album of the same name as she exhibits a natural affinity for melody while effortlessly transcending boundaries; borrowing from such diverse idioms as jazz, classical, rock, blues, traditional music of the world and beyond. From the elegant opener “Secret Pond” to the evocative free-form flight of “Falcon’s Wing,” which shines light on the pianist’s classical influences, to the lilting cool of “Embrace & Surrender,” featuring veteran drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, to her co-writing collaborations with revered Cameroonian bassist/guitarist/vocalist/producer Richard Bona (Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin, Zawinul Syndicate) on both the spirited dance-inducing “Nguea Wonja” (which means to ‘take pride in the road you are traveling on your journey’) and the divine ballad “Touching Peace,” this self-produced opus stands tall as another exquisite achievement in Keiko’s masterful career.
Over the course of three decades, her free spirit and creative genius have afforded her the luxury to share the stage with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis to Hugh Masakela and Bob James. Keiko will soon be gracing stages once again, beginning with a four-day stint at the world-famous Yoshi’s in San Francisco, CA on August 3rd. From there, she will commence on the second leg of her U.S. tour with shows at clubs, theaters and wineries throughout California before embarking on a seven-day cruise as a performing artist aboard the Dave Koz and Friends At Sea excursion from August 26 – September 2nd. More info about the Dave Koz Alaskan Cruise is available at http://www.davekozcruise.com/alaska. Matsui’s Road… continues again in mid-October with gigs on both coasts.
Aside from performing worldwide, Keiko (pronounced Kay-Koe means ‘happy celebratory child’ in Japanese) is an activist by nature, using her music to speak to the world while also lending her voice to causes championed by organizations like The United Nations World Food Programme, Be The Match Marrow Registry and The National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation.
“Keiko is a brilliant performer, arranger and composer.” Bob James
Aug 03 – San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 04 – San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 05 – San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 06 – San Francisco, CA, Yoshi’s
Aug 07 – Temecula, CA, Thornton Winery
Aug 10 – Livermore, CA, Bankhead Theatre
Aug 11 – Santa Cruz, CA, Kuumbwa Jazz Club
Aug 12 – Cerritos, CA, Cerritos Center for the Arts
Aug 13 – Modesto, CA, State Theater
Aug 26 – Dave Koz and Friends At Sea (7-day Alaskan Cruise)
Oct 14 – La Quinta, CA, La Quinta Spa and Resort
Oct 16 – Annapolis, MD, Ram’s Head Tavern
Oct 17 – Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
Oct 20 – Scottsdale, AZ, The Compound
Oct 21 – San Diego, CA, Anthology
Oct 22 – Catalina Island, CA, Jazztrax Festival
1) Secret Pond (ft. Vinnie Colaiuta)
2) Falcon’s Wing (ft. Richard Bona)
3) Nguea Wonja (ft. Richard Bona)
4) Bohemian Concerto (ft. MB Gordy)
5) Embrace & Surrender (ft. Vinnie Colaiuta)
6) Awakening (ft. Kirk Whalum)
7) Touching Peace (ft. Richard Bona)
8) Affirmation (ft. Kirk Whalum & Vinnie Colaiuta)
9) The Road… (ft. Jackiem Joyner)