Ai Kuwabara Trio Project - Nov. 20, 2013

by Michelle Saport  |   

Ai Kuwabara Trio Project plays UAA Nov. 20. Photo by Hideo Nakajima.

Ai Kuwabara Trio Project plays UAA Nov. 20. Photo by Hideo Nakajima.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Fine Arts Building, Recital Hall (Room 150)

Born in 1991, pianist Ai Kuwabara has previously been introduced in the media as "Genius Girl." While her music calls to mind Michel Petrucciani and Esbjörn Svensson, she expresses her creative world with the backing of her lush sensitivity and precise technique. Every original composition that Kuwabara writes down is free and emotional, occasionally avant-garde and lies beyond the frame of jazz pianists that have existed thus far.

The trio's bassist, Yusuke Morita, plays everything from transcendent solos to aggressive phrases that make for a luminary and magnificent backing sound. Drummer Shintaro Imamura, with his active career and experience studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, calls to mind his favorites Chris Dave and Steve Gadd and adds an essential element. Check out the band's YouTube channel for a preview.

The group has shot to the top of the Japanese jazz world and is making their American debut with a four-city tour, including this final stop in Anchorage sponsored by the UAA Department of Music, Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage and Japan Foundation, Los Angeles. Tickets are free, but you may reserve your seat here. Walk-ins are also welcome.

The Japan Foundation (JF) is a cultural exchange institution that promotes international awareness and mutual understanding between Japan and people throughout the world. JF provides a wide range of programs centered on three pillars of activity: arts and cultural exchange, Japanese language education and Japanese studies and international exchange. These activities include grant programs, the promotion of person-to-person exchange, support for educational programs and assistance to media-related projects such as publications, translations and film and video productions.

For more information, please visit the Department of Music website or contact Tatsuya Kawashima at (323) 7861-7510, ext. 107, or

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