Telluride Jazz Celebration Guest of Honor: Toshiko Akiyoshi

Telluride Jazz Celebration Guest of Honor: Toshiko Akiyoshi

[click “Play” to listen to Toshiko Akiyoshi’s conversation with Susan]

Akiyoshi The 34th annual Telluride Jazz Celebration welcomes Guest of Honor, award-winnning (Downbeat polls, Grammy nominations, etc.) arranger-pianist-bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi.

Manchurian born Akiyoshi began her piano training at  the age of seven. Her career as a jazz pianist was launched in Japan in 1946. Be-bop pianist Akiyoshi made her first U.S. appearance over 50 years ago: in 1956 she appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival before touring top jazz clubs across the country.

Over a long, fruitful and laureled career, Akiyoshi metabolized the work of major composers such as Duke Ellington, but managed to coax the lessons of the masters into original works of her own. Akiyoshi’s composition – she tends to perform only original work – features lots of chordal motion, contrasting melodies, bravura passages to highlight band members, plenty of wide open spaces for swinging band interaction, and, signature cross-cultural references.

Akiyoshi and her husband, the great tenor saxophonist and flutist Lew Tabackin, are in town for an encore performance. Besides Akiyoshi and Tabackin, their quartet includes Boris Kozlov on bass and Mark Taylor on drums. In addition to the quartet, they will be performing with the Crescent Super Band.

Hear what Paul Machado, Executive Director of TJC has to say:

As with all of my Guests of Honor, I enjoy inviting those that I know personally and those that have had a very positive impact on me over the years.

Toshiko and Lew are no exception. I saw the incredible big band/orchestra 30 years ago and it was one of the best performances I remember from the early days of Telluride Jazz. Toshiko’s music is exquisite.

We have loosely stayed in touch all these years and I am thrilled to have them back in Telluride.

To learn more about Akiyoshi, click the “play” button and listen to her interview.
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.