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Pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, NEA Jazz Master
September 10, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Famed jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi, National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation bestows on jazz artists, will appear at The Chapel Restoration on Sunday, September 10, at 4:00. She will play standards and original compositions. The concert is free to the public. Donations are welcome.
Over the course of her career as pianist, bandleader and composer-arranger, Akiyoshi has played Manhattan’s premiere jazz clubs, won awards for her albums, been nominated 14 times for a Grammy and debuted with her orchestra in Carnegie Hall. Born in Manchuria, where she began playing at age six, she moved to Japan with her parents at the end of World War II, where the great Oscar Peterson discovered her while on a Jazz at the Philharmonic tour in 1952.
After study at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, Akiyoshi moved to New York in 1959, where she played Birdland, Village Gate, Five Spot and the Half Note. She and her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin, formed the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra in Los Angeles in 1973, placing first in the Down Beat Critics’ Poll in 1976. The band later re-formed with New York musicians and enjoyed a critically successful Carnegie Hall debut as part of the Kool Jazz Festival in 1983.
Meanwhile, Akiyoshi was exploring Japanese themes in compositions and arrangements. She has recorded 22 albums with the orchestra and is the first woman ever to place first in the Best Arranger and Composer category in the Down Beat Readers’ Poll. Her album, Long Yellow Road, was named best jazz album of the year by Stereo Review. Four Seasons of the Morita Village won the 1996 Swing Journal Silver Award.
In 2002 she retired her big band projects and returned to the piano, touring as a trio and sometimes a quartet with her husband, Lew Tabackin. Summing up her own career, Toshiko, commented in an interview with the San Bernardino Sun, “I would hope that my work might have more substance and more quality rather than quantity of notes. And I hope the notes I produce today are more selective than 20 years ago.”
The chapel is at 45 Market Street, Cold Spring. Free parking is available on weekends at the adjacent Metro North Station. This concert is made possible, in part, through the Arts Link Re-Grant Program of Putnam Arts Council, with public funds from New York State Council on the Arts, the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature and by audience contributions.
45 Market Street Cold Spring, NY 10516, 845-265-5537