Art Hirahara

  • Art Hirahara
  • Instruments: Piano

  • Biography:

    Art Hirahara is a jazz pianist/composer, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, now living in Brooklyn, NY. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in jazz piano performance at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA and a Bachelor of Music degree in Electronic and Computer Music from the Oberlin College Conservatory in Oberlin, OH.

    In the fall of 1996, he was selected by the Arts America office of the U.S. Information Agency to serve as a "Jazz Ambassador" on a seven week tour in Qatar, Yemen, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where he performed, lectured and conducted workshops with local musicians.

    Art has performed regularly as a freelance musician at public performances, festivals, private events and at venues around the United States, including Birdland, The Jazz Standard and the 55 Bar in New York City. He has performed with notable musicians such as Dave Douglas, Vincent Herring, Stacey Kent, Akira Tana, Rufus Reid, Wadada Leo Smith, Victor Lewis, Jim Black, Bill McHenry, Nate Radley, Jenny Scheinman, Take Toriyama, Sean Nowell, Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra, Scott Amendola, Todd Sickafoose, Hafez Modirzadeh, royal hartigan, Anton Schwartz, Marcus Shelby, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra, Eric Crystal, Bob Kenmotsu, Chuck Sher, San Jose Taiko, and Helcio Milito.

    Art has performed at major festivals including the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle and the Jazz Ost-West Festival in Nuremburg, Germany. He performed with his sextet at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2001. Art has also played at venues extensively in Asia including in Kyoto, Yokohama, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

    He has composed music for the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, a San Francisco-based comedy/theater group, as well as for the Asian American Theater Company. He is a founding member and co-artistic director of the pan-Asian percussion group, Asian Crisis.

    Art has studied performance and composition with Dave Douglas, Charlie Haden, Joe La Barbera, Neal Creque, Jimmy Owens, Wadada Leo Smith and David Roitstein.

    His CD entitled "Edge of This Earth" was self-released in August of 2000.