• Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Presents NEA Jazz Master, Pianist, and Bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi in Zankel Hall


    Akiyoshi’s Program—Solo, Trio, and Quartet—Is Part of
    Carnegie Hall’s Ongoing JapanNYC Festival

      On Wednesday, April 6 at 9:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall, legendary jazz pianist and bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi gives audiences an eclectic view of jazz piano as performed in solo, trio, and quartet formats with her band-mates including virtuoso tenor saxophonist and flutist, Lew Tabackin (Ms. Akiyoshi's husband), bassist Paul Gill, and drummer Mark Taylor. Her program, entitled Solo, Trio, and Quartet, is part of Carnegie Hall’s ongoing citywide JapanNYC festival, which invites audiences to explore the diversity of Japanese arts and culture, and is the final concert in this season’s four-part Shape of Jazz series presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC.

    Akiyoshi, a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master and 14-time Grammy Award-nominee, is known for incorporating cross-cultural references in her approach to jazz music. As stated in The New York Times, “[she is]…one of the very few women notably leading large-ensemble bands, and certainly the only Japanese woman leading a world-famous band playing only original compositions…her honest, entirely nonglib way of combining jazz with elements of Japanese and Asian culture testifies to her success."

    To view a video of Toshiko performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, please click here.

    The JapanNYC festival explores the world of Japan today, where artists embrace their country’s unique aesthetic sensibilities while continually revitalizing its cultural landscape. Led by renowned conductor Seiji Ozawa as Artistic Director, the festival explores a country that values its long-standing cultural heritage while also embracing and transforming Western art forms, with a spirit that very much looks ahead. Visit carnegiehall.org/japannyc for the most up-to-date information on festival events, interviews with artists, videos, slideshows, and other content providing insight into Japan’s arts scene and JapanNYC festival offerings.

    About the Artist
    Toshiko Akiyoshi’s contributions to the jazz world have evolved through a series of events that started with a piano-loving Japanese girl in China and brought her to prominence as an unparalleled pianist, composer, and leader of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. Her recordings have garnered numerous awards and honors including a total of 14 Grammy Award nominations. After she began playing professionally, Akiyoshi was discovered by pianist Oscar Peterson in 1952 during the Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic tour of Japan in 1952. On Peterson’s recommendation, she recorded for Granz and came to the United States to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

    Her years in Boston, and later in New York, helped her develop into a first class pianist. Akiyoshi’s interest in composing and arranging was put into action when she moved to Los Angeles in 1972 with her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin. The following year they formed a renowned big band—the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin. The band, which began as a vehicle for Akiyoshi's own compositions, gained a reputation as one of the most excellent and innovative big bands in jazz.

    Akiyoshi’s works have been performed by the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro James De Priest. In 1996, she realized a years-long dream when she completed her autobiography, Life With Jazz, now in its fifth printing. Among the many honors she has received are the Shijahosho (1999, from the Emperor of Japan); the Japan Foundation Award; Order of the Rising Sun; Gold Rays with Rosetta (2004, from the Emperor of Japan); and the Asahi Award (2005, from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper). In 2002 Toshiko retired her big band projects and returned to the piano, touring as a trio and sometimes a quartet with her husband.

    Program Information
    Wednesday, April 6 at 9:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall
    , Piano
    Lew Tabackin, Tenor Saxophone and Flute
    Paul Gill, Bass
    Mark Taylor, Drums


    Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.

    Sponsored in part by Mitsubishi International Corporation.

    JapanNYC Lead Sponsors are Epson Corporation; Mizuho Securities USA Inc.; Nomura Holding America Inc. and Nomura America Foundation; Kotaro ONO, The Chairman of The ONO Group; ROHM Co., Ltd. and Rohm Music Foundation; Sony Corporation; and Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

    Supporting Sponsors are Deloitte LLP; Mitsubishi International Corporation; Suntory Holdings Limited and Suntory Hall; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Toshiba Corporation; and Toyota.

    With additional funding from Aladdin Capital Holdings LLC; Asian Cultural Council; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; GWFF USA Inc.; ITOCHU International Inc.; J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York; Kawasaki Good Times Foundation; The NY Mets Foundation; Nihon Unisys, Ltd.; Nippon Express Foundation, Inc.; Nippon Life Insurance Company; Hiroko Onoyama and Ken Sugawara; Seiko Instruments Inc.; Subaru of America, Inc.; and Sumitomo Corporation of America Foundation.

    With special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan; Japan Tourism Agency; Japan National Tourism Organization; the Japan Foundation; and the Consulate-General of Japan in New York.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Continental Airlines is the Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.


    Ticket Information
    Tickets, $38 and $48, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.


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