Art Hirahara, Libations & Meditations
Art Hirahara is a jazz pianist and keyboardist living in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Hirahara moved to New York in 2003 to be challenged by its pool of world- class musicians. There, he has honed his craft while performing in a wide range of musical situa- tions, ranging from straight-ahead standards to time cycle-based progressive jazz to free improvisa- tion. From the traditional to the avant-garde, Hirahara has found a sound of his own that cuts across genres and boundaries.
Hirahara continues on the Posi-Tone label with his latest record titled “Central Line” (2017). Like his previous Posi-Tone release “Libations & Meditations” (2015), Hirahara presents himself in the piano trio format. His bandmates for the latest record, Rudy Royston on drums and Linda Oh (Dave Douglas) on acoustic bass, and Donny McCaslin on sax, help Hirahara document some of his wonderful compositions.
Hirahara was awakened to jazz during his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he earned a degree in Electronic and Computer Music. During his junior year, he began jazz piano studies with the Cleveland jazz giant, Neal Creque. He then continued at California Institute of the Arts, where he was mentored by David Roitstein, Charlie Haden and Wadada Leo Smith. It was there that he immersed himself in world music, focusing on West African drumming and dance, Balinese gamelan and North Indian tabla.
In August of 2000, Hirahara self-released his debut record “Edge Of This Earth” to critical acclaim. After his move to New York, Hirahara studied at the Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music program with Dave Douglas in 2004. Hirahara has had the privilege to perform with Stacey Kent, Akira Tana, Rufus Reid, Don Braden, Roseanna Vitro, Dave Douglas, Vincent Herring, Victor Lewis, Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Jim Black, Jenny Scheinman, Greg Cohen, Fred Ho, Sean Nowell, Royal Hartigan and Hafez Modir- zadeh. He has performed around the world in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East and extensively around the United States.
Hirahara’s piano and compositional sound are an amalgamation of the varied musical influences he has studied and the wide range of leaders he has worked for. Hirahara is constantly seeking new situations to challenge his musicality.