KEIKO MATSUI’S “JOURNEY TO THE HEART”

Pianist, humanitarian, and composer Keiko Matsui is celebrating her 30th anniversary of recording. Admittedly, for Keiko, it doesn’t feel like it has been that long. On August 5th, “Journey To The Heart” was released, and as of August 17th, debuted at #1 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. Throughout the years, Keiko has always written from her heart and embraced what was relevant in her life at any particular time. She’s not only a brilliant musician; she is a humanitarian who makes it her business to shine a light on issues around the world. Her humble spirit can be felt in her music as well as her passion. Keiko states,”‘Journey To The Heart’ is my gift to my fans. I want to deliver the most beautiful and emotional experience.” Undoubtedly, she has once again conveyed her message. Each song has a personality of its own and tells its own story. “Journey To The Heart” arouses every human sense and emotion. Using an acoustic approach, Keiko created a whole new energy resembling change and a new life chapter. Narrowing down over 100 melodic ideas, Keiko takes listeners on a “Journey To The Heart” saying “my melodies are my living testimony.”

My friend and I talk about her incredible journey:

Keiko Matsui 3

 

KEIKO MATSUI “LIVE IN TOKYO”

The highly anticipated “Live In Tokyo” collectors’ CD/DVD was released on October 2, 2015. With it being her first in over a decade, Keiko’s desire was to give her fans the experience of a lifetime. She incorporated the best stage production and asked her friends Chuck Loeb and Kirk Whalum to join her. Keiko describes her Homecoming show in Japan on May 23, 2015 as surreal. Aside from being an impeccable artist, Keiko is also a known humanitarian. She dedicates much of her life and music to bringing awareness to various causes around the world. As her latest album, “Soul Quest,” continues to blossom and take on new life every time she performs it, Keiko is continuing to tour, sharing the “Live In Tokyo” experience with fans.

Listen to Keiko describe her incredible experience:

Keiko live

Oct 2: KEIKO MATSUI “Live In Tokyo” CD/DVD | US Tour Oct 9 – Nov 15‏

Keiko live

KEIKO MATSUI To Release “LIVE IN TOKYO” CD/DVD on October 2 Via Shanachie Entertainment
Concert Showcases SOUL QUEST, Her Most Recent Critically Acclaimed Studio Album
 
Special Guests Include Guitarist Chuck Loeb and Saxophonists Kirk Whalum & Tom Braxton
 
U.S. Tour Oct 9 – Nov 15 Covers Boston, Washington DC, Cleveland & Seattle

Los Angeles, CA: On October 2, Shanachie Entertainment will release “Live In Tokyo,” the definitive concert experience from contemporary jazz icon Keiko Matsui. Recorded during a sold-out stop on her 2014 Soul Quest World Tour, the CD/DVD release showcases her stunning live show like never before.

Captured in a state-of-the-art theater in the TV Asahi EX Tower building in the vibrant nightlife district of Roppongi in Minato, Tokyo, the extraordinary 74-minute journey showcases the prowess of a truly transcendent artist at her peak powers. Deftly leading the bristling affair, Matsui hypnotically gallops through electrifying extended excursions of “Dream Seeker,” “Black Lion,” and “Stingo,” all from her critically-acclaimed album Soul Quest.
Joining the improvisational mastery is long-time collaborator Chuck Loeb who adds soaring guitar on “Caricias” and “Proof” while saxophonist Kirk Whalum reprises his guest appearance on “Affirmation,” from Matsui’s album The Road… Elsewhere, Keiko delights the crowd with fan favorites “Forever, Forever,” “Safari” and “Bridge Over The Stars” before Loeb & Whalum re-join the ensemble for a show-stopping encore of “Antartica: A Call to Action” and “A Night with Cha Cha,” both cornerstones of Soul Quest.
The companion DVD chronicles the action in high definition, as this historic night unfolds before a rapturous audience. Extras on the 3-hour, 16-minute DVD include behind-the-scenes footage at the conclusion of the concert, a bonus performance of “Midnight Stone” (Adapted w/ “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor”) and a 13-minute alternate live version of “Caricias”.
With over 1.2 million units sold in the U.S. over her 25-year recording career, Keiko Matsui is one of the most recognized artists in contemporary jazz. Her elegant piano melodies and spell-binding grooves have universal appeal, cementing her legacy as one of the preeminent entertainers in the world. To celebrate Tokyo, Keiko will embark on a U.S. Tour from October 9 to November 15, with select shows from Boston to Seattle.
TOUR DATES

Oct 09 – Boston, MA @ Scullers

Oct 10 – Boston, MA @ Scullers
Oct 16 – Akron, OH @ The Tangier
Oct 17 – Alexandria, VA @ The Birchmere
Oct 18 – Annapolis, MD @ Rams Head On Stage
Oct 24 – Nov 1 – Eastern Caribbean; Capital Jazz Cruise
Nov 12 – Seattle, WA @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Nov 13 – Seattle, WA @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Nov 14 – Seattle, WA @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Nov 15 – Seattle, WA @ Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Feb 21-28 – Eastern Caribbean; Dave Koz & Friends at Sea

KEIKO MATSUI
LIVE IN TOKYO

CD
1. Dream Seeker
2. Black Lion
3. Forever Forever
4. Caricias (ft. Chuck Loeb)
5. Proof (ft. Chuck Loeb)
6. Affirmation (ft. Kirk Whalum)
7. Soul Quest
8. Safari
9. Stingo
10. Bridge Over The Stars
11. Antarctica: A Call to Action (ft. Kirk Whalum & Chuck Loeb)
12. A Night with Cha Cha (ft. Kirk Whalum & Chuck Loeb)
13. Deep Blue

DVD
1. Dream Seeker
2. Black Lion
3. Forever Forever
4. Caricias (ft. Chuck Loeb)
5. Proof (ft. Chuck Loeb)
6. Affirmation (ft. Kirk Whalum)
7. Soul Quest
8. Safari
9. Stingo
10. Bridge Over The Stars
11. Antarctica: A Call to Action (ft. Kirk Whalum & Chuck Loeb)
12. A Night with Cha Cha (ft. Kirk Whalum & Chuck Loeb)
DVD EXTRAS
1. Before the Doors… (11:12)
2. The Memories 9:01)
3. Midnight Stone Adapted w/ En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor (6:32)
4. Caricias (13:39)
Total DVD Running Time: 3 hr 16 min
YouTube: https://youtu.be/h6gzkkjK9rA (A Night with Cha Cha ft. Kirk Whalum, Tom Braxton & Chuck Loeb) [Live Video]

THE “TENACITY” OF PAUL TAYLOR

If ever there were a most appropriate title for Paul Taylor’s latest album, “Tenacity” wins hands down. Nineteen years in the music business and counting, he shows no signs of slowing down. In the past few years, Paul has had a #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, #1 on the airplay charts, and a Top Ten album on the Billboard Jazz Albums charts. It is no surprise that he continues to be successful. He’s mastered the balancing act of maintaining a solo career and being a member of several projects over the years. Taylor lends his talents to Keiko Matsui’s band, The Rippingtons, Groovin For Grover, Gentlemen of the Night, and Sax and the City. I told him he must be a “superhero.” Paul attributes his success to tenacity, making the title “Tenacity” not one difficult to come up with. He joined forces with his longtime friend and colleague Don Espisito when he embarked upon the making of his 10th album to be released on March 18th. He invited some of jazz’s favorites to collaborate with him on “Tenacity.” Johnathan Fritzen plays on the funky opening song “Supernova” while Jeff Lorber adds his touch to the smooth tune “Luxe,” and Paul Hardcastle ignites the fun “Peace of Mind.” The final song on the album is significantly titled “Empire” because it symbolizes Paul reflecting on all that he has accomplished.

Listen as he shares the story with me.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Saxman Jackiem Joyner’s urban-jazz grooves “Evolve”

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Saxman Jackiem Joyner’s urban-jazz grooves “Evolve”

 

April 29th album release featuring duets with Gerald Albright and Keiko Matsui will be previewed at radio by the futuristic “Generation Next.”

 

Sherman Oaks, Calif. (19 February 2014): As a young turk on the contemporary jazz scene, saxophonist Jackiem Joyner is far from complacent and staid in his sound and style. Not afraid to challenge the fan base that took him to No. 1 twice and Top 3 two more times on the Billboard chart, Joyner gets adventurous on his fifth album, “Evolve,” which will be released April 29th by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records. It’s his first on which he wrote and produced the entire set, including the first single going to radio in mid-March, “Generation Next,” an up-tempo urban-pop track with vibrant flashes of strings that provide a contrast to Joyner’s gentle melodic sax.

Juxtaposing invigorating otherworldly sonicscapes under tender sax melodies, “Evolve” is a dynamic, highly-rhythmic session that is unpredictable laced with traces of the familiar. Listening will take you to a different place while defining Joyner as a musician and a writer beyond what we have already heard from the chart-topping rhythm and groove guy. The imaginative new set has a greater purpose with the introductory single, “Generation Next,” serving as “a declaration that the next generation of jazz musicians is here to stay. Music evolves, including jazz. All types of sound evolve. So do people and our imaginations. That is what I tried to put on tape. ‘Evolve’ captures the changes in my musical mind and how I have evolved as an artist. Rather than fitting in with the traditional, I’m bringing the audience along with songs that unfold over different and interesting soundscapes even as I move towards a live organic sound,” explains Joyner.

In addition to playing alto and soprano sax on the record, Joyner is a multi-instrumentalist who played many of the instruments heard on the collection along with a couple of high-profile assists from Grammy-nominated sax player Gerald Albright and internationally-renowned keyboardist Keiko Matsui. The collaborations are noteworthy for different reasons. When Joyner was in high school, Albright was his idol thus dueting with him on “Big Step” was a thrill. Joyner tours in Matsui’s band when not performing his own dates and wrote “Europa” with her mind. On a few tracks, he was joined by his touring band – guitarist Kayta Matsuno, bassist Tim Bailey, keyboardist Bill Steinway and drummer Raymond Johnson – to record live in the studio.

“Evolve” marks a return for Joyner to the contemporary jazz-urban instrumentals for which he achieved notoriety on his first three albums after 2012’s “Church Boy,” an offering that landed on Billboard’s Jazz Albums and Top Gospel Albums charts. Joyner was named Debut Artist of the Year for his 2007 debut, “Babysoul,” by Smooth Jazz News. His sophomore set, “Lil’ Man Soul,” registered a pair of No. 1 Billboard hits with “I’m Waiting For You” reigning for 12 weeks and winning Song of the Year honors at the 2009 American Smooth Jazz Awards. Two singles from Joyner’s self-titled third record climbed into Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Songs Top 3. He’s toured the world extensively in support of each release and anticipates a busy year of touring in 2014 – both with his own band and with Matsui. For more information, please visit www.JackiemJoyner.com and www.facebook.com/jackiemjoyner .

“Evolve” contains the following song titles:

“Generation Next”

“Europa”

“Double Bass”

“Breathe”

“Evolve”

“Born To Fly”

Interlude

“Later Tonight”

“See Through Me”

“Big Step”

“A Gentle Walk On Water”

Keiko Matsui’s “Soul Quest”

When you cross paths with a great spirit while on this journey called “life,” it is an amazing experience. While listening to and talking with Keiko Matsui about her journey, that connection was made. Out of her journey was born her latest CD “Soul Quest” on which she dedicated her mind, body, and soul. Keiko, the pianist, composer, and humanitarian collaborated with music greats like Chuck Loeb, Narada Michael Walden, Kirk Whalum, and Marcus Miller to create her latest masterpiece. Undoubtedly, she displayed music artistry at its best, meanwhile sharing her passion about various causes that effect us personally as well as the world we live in.

From the moment the music begins, you’re instantly mesmerized by the melodious first song “Dream Seeker.” Later, Keiko adds vocals to the up-tempo Black Lion which is also her first single. Alongside Loeb, she wrote “Top Secret” which displays a beautiful dance between piano and trumpet. Next up is “A Night With Cha Cha,” featuring the smooth sounds of Saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Keiko and Narada Michael Walden change the tone of the CD with the soul stirring “Moving Mountain” and “Antarctica – A Call To Action.” “Antarctica – A Call To Action” is soulfully powerful and features Kirk Whalum on sax and Marcus Miller on bass. She dedicates this song to saving Antarctica and the environment or our planet. The title track, “Soul Quest,” is mystical and alluring. “Proof” is funky and sultry, and “Two Hearts” resembles a conversation between two. Both were written by Keiko and Chuck. Finally, she and Walden pay tribute to Sting with the edgy song “Stingo” on the finale of the album.

The connection unfolds…

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui’s “Soul Quest”

When you cross paths with a great spirit while on this journey called “life,” it is an amazing experience. While listening to and talking with Keiko Matsui about her journey, that connection was made. Out of her journey was born her latest CD “Soul Quest” on which she dedicated her mind, body, and soul. Keiko, the pianist, composer, and humanitarian collaborated with music greats like Chuck Loeb, Narada Michael Walden, Kirk Whalum, and Marcus Miller to create her latest masterpiece. Undoubtedly, she displayed music artistry at its best, meanwhile sharing her passion about various causes that effect us personally as well as the world we live in.

From the moment the music begins, you’re instantly mesmerized by the melodious first song “Dream Seeker.” Later, Keiko adds vocals to the up-tempo Black Lion which is also her first single. Alongside Loeb, she wrote “Top Secret” which displays a beautiful dance between piano and trumpet. Next up is “A Night With Cha Cha,” featuring the smooth sounds of Saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Keiko and Narada Michael Walden change the tone of the CD with the soul stirring “Moving Mountain” and “Antarctica – A Call To Action.” “Antarctica – A Call To Action” is soulfully powerful and features Kirk Whalum on sax and Marcus Miller on bass. She dedicates this song to saving Antarctica and the environment or our planet. The title track, “Soul Quest,” is mystical and alluring. “Proof” is funky and sultry, and “Two Hearts” resembles a conversation between two. Both were written by Keiko and Chuck. Finally, she and Walden pay tribute to Sting with the edgy song “Stingo” on the finale of the album.

The connection unfolds…

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui

Keiko Matsui