Keigo Hirakawa is among the most interactive and creative jazz pianists today. Sought after for his willingness to be musically spontaneous on stage, he brings fresh sound to ensembles with highly personal and energetic style of improvisation. He has distinguishes himself with his articulate use of harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary and his leadership style on the bandstand.
2010 marked the released of “Hessler-Cabrillo Run Down,” Hirakawa’s first album recorded as a co-leader with saxophonist Joshua Smith. Dedicated to the late comic writer and jazz critic Harvey Pekar, the album celebrates the Avant Garde jazz with every track improvised without precomposed music.
Hirakawa calls Ohio his home, appearing in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Pittsburgh frequently. He can also be heard in the US and internationally, including San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York, and Tokyo. He leads his own piano trio, and is a member of Eddie Brookshire Quintet. He is on faculty at University of Dayton, department of music.
Hirakawa began playing the organ at the age of three because the piano keys were too heavy to press down. Inspired by Anton Dvorak’s work, he decided—at only four years old—that he wanted to become an orchestra conductor. His interest in jazz was sparked during a brief stint dabbing at the clarinet and saxophone in high school. Returning his focus to piano, Hirakawa continued his musical training in New York City and at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he earned a Master of Music in jazz performance. He has studied with many world renowned jazz artists, including Danilo Perez, Harold Danko, Stephen Scott, Alan Pasqua, Ran Blake, Cecil McBee, Ralph Peterson, Jerry Bergonzi, Donald Byrd, John McNeil, George Garzone, Bob Moses, Jerry Leake, Walt Weiskopf, Oscar Stagnaro, Michael Cochrane, and Gary Dial. He also stepped in as an acting director of the Cornell University Jazz Ensembles in 2000-2001.
Read more about Hirakawa from this blog entry.