Taeko Kunishima

Taeko Kunishima

Musicians | Instrument: Piano | Location: Cardiff

"Interesting musical development... such brilliant music.

—Nick Luscombe, Late Junction on BBC Radio 3

Updated: December 5, 2022

Born: September 2

"I was born in Japan and studied classical piano performance at university. When I heard Miles Davis on the radio, I switched to jazz.

I had a long absence from musical activity while living in the Middle East, and shortly after, in my youth. By experiencing different cultures and listening to Japanese, classical, jazz and  Arabic music I was inspired to write my own diverse compositions ." —Taeko Kunishima (June 2022)

Kunishima has released five albums on 33 jazz records and been played on  BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, Jazz FM, BBC World, and Resonance FM.

The Taeko Kunishima Band (with developing line ups) has had performances at: Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival, London EFG Jazz Festival and The Vortex jazz club.

She has collaborated with shakuhachi player Clive Bell since 2006, Paul Moylan, the double bass player since 2011. In January, June, July 2008 she played across Germany backed by American drummer David Bowler from the Ahmad Jamal Trio.

James Nadal from All About Jazz chose the last album; Iridescent Clouds as one of his best albums in the 2016 All About Jazz review.

Taeko Kunishima will have released five albums on 33jazz records by June this year.

Taeko Kunishima debut album as bandleader was Space to Be. After the release of this album, the band performed at the Isle of Wight Jazz Diva Festival in 2005.

The second album, Red Dragonfly came out in 2006. The band received a warm reception at live performances including the Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival and The Vortex jazz club. In Autumn 2006 she completed a UK tour with the help of Jazz Services.

Taeko Kunishima's third album Late Autumn, with a new line up, was released in 2011. 'Intriguing compositions diverse instrumentation... the perfect storm of repertoire, arrangements and players ' Lawrence Peryer, All About Jazz. 'Imaginative, unexpectedly varied, powerful but sensitive music from a pianist who should be much better known'  Chris Parker, London Jazz.

In January, June, July 2008 she played across Germany backed by American drummer David Bowler from the Ahmad Jamal Trio.

 In 2016, she released Iridescent Clouds with the same line up as the previous album, which James Nadal from All About Jazz chose as one of his best albums in the 2016 All About Jazz annual review.

She released Dictionary Land on 33jazz records in June 2022.



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Taeko Kunishima’s third album finds the pianist (born in Shizuoka, Japan, now based in London) in a mood both lyrical and risk-taking. These nine original compositions fully display Taeko’s way with a melody, but this is jazz with a thoroughly contemporary sound. Opener “To The Hebrides” is a meditative piano solo, quickly followed by the driving riff of “Return To Life”: Paul Moylan’s powerful double bass and Max Hallett’s shoot-from-the-hip drums are united in urgency. Sean Corby’s eloquent trumpet switches from au naturel to electronic psychedelia, while Clive Bell’s shakuhachi flute brings a lurking samurai menace to “Spring Rain” and “Dusk”

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Return to Life

From: Late Autumn
By Taeko Kunishima

Cold Winter

From: Red Dragonfly
By Taeko Kunishima

Itsuki no Komoriuta

From: Space to Be...
By Taeko Kunishima