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Kotaro Tsukahara

Jazz pianist

Kotaro was born on 18, August 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. He began studying classical music at the age of three. After he graduated from the High School of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, he became interested in Jazz music.

Kotaro is especially fond of Be-Bop and Swing. He established his own trio while performing with the Kazuhiro Yoshida Quartet, the Toru Konishi Trio, the Blue Coats, and the Koji Fujika Quintet.

He performed as the leader of the house band at the club previously known as "The Five Spots" in Jiyugaoka.

Recently, he performed with great jazz musicians such as Eiji Kitamura, and Takeshi Inomata as well as other amateur jazz orchestras. He become an honor citizen of the Jazz Republic of Tokamachi on establishing "La Maison de Musique". He performs with foreign jazz musicians both in Japan and overseas, and is active in many international scenes. He has recorded and released over 30 albums, both Jazz and Classical, including "Tsudoi Liebe Deutsch", "Piano Crossing", and "Live in Ashibetsu".

 

-----------------------1988-----------------------

GML released gold plated CDs on which Kotaro performs "Raymond Conde Sing & Play For Good", "Right Enough", "Our Delight", and also "Hallucination" which is performed by the Kotaro trio. The CD received high acclaim by Swing Journal.

 

-----------------------1989-----------------------

Sep.Kotaro was invited to the Monterey Jazz Festival for the first time as a member of the Eiji Kitamura Quintet and also with Bill Berry. He was warmly received.

Oct. Kotaro performed with Buddy De Franco and again was well received.

 

-----------------------1990-----------------------

June."Top of the GML" was released by GML productions. This CD includes 2 pieces performed by the Kotaro Trio and 5 piano solos performed by Kotaro. Nov. "M&M" with Milt Jackson, a well known vibe player, was recorded and released.

 

-----------------------1991-----------------------

Aug.Kotaro performed at the Mt.Hood Jazz Festival in Portland, Oregon. At the festival he received a standing ovation from an audience of over 12,000 people.

Aug.Kotaro recorded a CD with Jimmy Smith of the Eroll Garner band. After it's released by King Records, the CD soon sold out.

Sep.Kotaro was invited again to the Monterey Jazz Festival. He performed with Bill Berry, Buddy DeFranco, Scott Hamilton, and Red Holloway. His piano solo received enthusiastic applause.

 

-----------------------1992-----------------------

Jan. Kotaro performed at Queensland Jazz Festival. The first international Jazz Festival to be held in Australia.

Feb.Kotaro performed with John Clayton, Marshall Royal, Buster Cooper, Spike Robinson, Bill Berry, and Carl Fontana at the International Jazz Party in Los Angeles, and received high appraisal at the L.A. JAZZ SCENE.

JulyKotaro performed with Lewis & Young at the Kawaguchi and Adelaide World Festival Fusion for Friendship between Australia and Japan.

JulyKotaro performed as a member of the Richie Cole & Bobby Shew All Stars in Japan. (with Guitarist Bruce Forman, bassist John Heard, drummer Eddy Marshall, and Aug.singer Margie Baker.)

Sep.Kotaro performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival for the third time.

Dec.The Kotaro Trio recorded its first live recording under Jazz Republic of Tokamachi label.

 

-----------------------1993-----------------------

Jan.Kotaro participated in the Queensland Jazz Festival again. He performed with Don Burrow from Australia and Buddy DeFranco from U.S.A. as well as others.

At the Queensland Jazz Festival, Kotaro was invited by Richie Cole to be a member of recording session consisting of American, Australian, and Japanese musicians.

Feb.Kotaro again took part in the International Jazz Party in L.A. He was delighted at the reunion with Marshall Royal, Jake Hanna, Frank Capp, John Clayton, and other good friends. He performed with Bob Cooper (ts. but, he died in Aug. 1993), Chuck Berghofer(b), and Frank Capp(ds.). It got an excellent reception. He also performed a piano solo "I Cover The Waterfront", that again was met with enthusiastic applause. Leonard Feather, the severest jazz critic in U.S.A., praised Kotaro's performance in an article that appeared in the L.A. TIMES.

Critic's Comment; (issued 16,Feb.1993.)
There were many splendid moments during these sets, but top honors went to Bob Cooper, whose tenor saxophone has never sounded better, and to Kotaro Tsukahara, a superb neobop pianist who backed Cooper.

 

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