CHIHIRO YAMANAKA, Universal Classics & Jazz recording artist, is one of the most exciting jazz pianists and composers of her generation, and the leader of the CHIHIRO YAMANAKA TRIO.
CHIHIRO YAMANAKA’s latest CD, “Forever Begins” (Verve) was released in Japan in 2010 and is reached the #1 on the several Japanese jazz charts as her other albums. Based in New York City, her international concert appearances have included Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, JVC Jazz Festival New York, Umbria Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz Festival and the Vienna State Opera House.
As acclaimed as Chihiro is in the U.S. and Europe, she is even more popular in Japan, where she’s had an amazing series of successes, with sold-out concert tours and all the CDs reaching the #1 spot on the Japanese jazz charts – an auspicious start to a career that first gained worldwide attention with Chihiro’s 2005 “Best New Artist” award in Swing Journal Magazine.
Chihiro’s 2009 CD, “After Hours” (Verve) won the “Japan Gold Disc Award” as the best-selling jazz disc of the year, and her 2007 CD, “Abyss” (Verve) won “Album of The Year” in the Swing Journal Magazine Readers’ Poll. Among her European CD releases is “Lach Doch Mal” (Emarcy), a masterpiece for both her virtuosity on piano and her strikingly original compositions. Highlights of Chihiro’s concerts and recordings also include her refreshingly unique arrangements of many of the most famous songs in the standard jazz repertoire. Jazz Life Magazine called Chihiro “one of the greatest talents in jazz for decades.” And the jazz legend George Russell has hailed her as “a very gifted and imaginative musician.”
The CHIHIRO YAMANAKA TRIO has featured some of the finest talent in jazz, including bassists Larry Grenadier and Bob Hurst and drummers Jeff “Tain” Watts and Jeff Ballard. In addition to her work as a bandleader, her in-demand status has led to concert appearances with Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Clark Terry, Gary Burton, George Russell, Terry Lynne Carrington, DIVA and many more.
Chihiro’s impact on the international jazz scene was uncannily foreshadowed by the successes she had while still in college, first at the Royal Academy of Music in England and then at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where she won Down Beat’s Outstanding Performance Award and was honored by the International Association of Jazz Educators with her victory in the prestigious “Sisters In Jazz” competition in 2009.