Yoshiko Kishino


Born in Tokyo, Yoshiko Kishino had started playing the piano when she was three, following her parents’ advice.
Even then, she outshined others in having perfect pitch, and she could turn all the music she heard into music sheets in her mind, surprising those who were around her.
Surrounded by and raised in her family of music lovers, she had been awakened to band-activities, so she put together a band copying the Beatles after she had entered junior high school while studying classical music.
She had seen eyes on the hit-tunes on the radio, and had joined in various bands when she was in high school, very much actively played in a number of school festivals.
So, she had spent such impressive youth as a band-girl (“rock-girlie” by her own words).
Then she went on to study classical music seriously, as she entered Toho Gakuen School of Music majoring in music.
During her school years there, she also continued with her band activities that had shifted from playing rock to contemporary jazz / fusion, inspired by the music world-widely popular musicians, such as Lee Ritenour (guitarist), and Sadao Watanabe (saxophonist).
She was awarded twice as the “Best Keyboardist” at Yamaha’s popular music contest which is a prestigious gateway to success for the amateur musicians, broadening her horizons through pop music.
Soon after graduation, she formed her own group and while performing shows, she concentrated on brushing up her song writing and arranging skills.
Thorough her stage performing experiences, she came to realize the importance of “ad-lib” and her interest in Jazz rapidly enhanced.
Looking back to those days, she confesses that her idol of that time was Oscar Peterson. In 1987, she had done a motion picture soundtrack for the Shochiku Movie “Hoshizora no mukou no kuni” and it was well received.
It was one of her best opportunities to prove her skills in composing and arranging.
After that, she went on to seek for her new direction in jazz, and started to perform as a jazz pianist.
With her shows based in Tokyo, she quickly became a friend with famous jazz players who are filled with the originality, such as Akira Sakata. In 1992, she joined the tour of the Middle East with Takio Itoh’s group, which plays Minyo (Japanese traditional music).
She played together with many artists all through the year.
It was another opportunity of her to broaden her career.
Her inclination toward Jazz deepened through the study of Bill Evance, and that is well reflected in her composition and arrangement, as well as in her performance.
In 1995, she recorded her debut album “Fairly Tale” in New York as a first Japanese female artist for GRP Records.
This is well appreciated both domestically and internationally, as the secure first step took by a “hot” new artist.
In 1996, she recorded her 2nd album, again in New York. It was released in June that year, it entered in the hit chart of Swing Journal magazine and Ori-Con magazine (industry paper).
In the same year she came to appear regularly in TV program called “Meikyoku Monogatari”, broadcasted by TV Osaka and TVK.
In 1997, inviting Philippe Saisse as the producer, she recorded her 3rd album, third time in New York. “Rendez Vous”, the 3rd album into which she aggressively adopted the Digital sound source, etc., with the intention for the drastic expansion of her sound identity.
In December 1998, she experienced the first domestic recording.
In Spring 1999, she released her 4th album titled “You Are So Beautiful”, which was filled with the broad selection of Jazz standard in both CD and LP. This particular album became one of the best selling Jazz CD of 1999 in Japan. In November, she released her first Christmas album “My Little Christmas”.
Also in this year, she performed “Panasonic Jazz Festival” in New York with own trio.
Yoshiko’s first Los Angeles recording was done in May 2000 supported by the great master of engineering, Don Murray as the engineer. In June 2000, she had her first tour in Taiwan, performing in Taipei and Gao Shung, which are were all highly praised.
Her first orchestration album “Tenderness” which she recorded in Los Angeles was released in September 2000.
Followed by a tour in October. This album established her firm valuation and popularity as a jazz pianist of new era.
And also the first DVD “Tenderness” which is performed the concert at Akasaka Blitz was released.
In 2002, she released a long-awaited album after 2 years since last-hit “Tenderness”, her 8th. album “SIESTA” is included
the most popular Bossa Nova numbers could be called “Brazilian Elegance”.
“SIESTA” was done in New York and Tokyo with well-known artists who are Marc Johnson, Romero Lubambo, Danny Gottlieb
and especially Emiko Shiratori sings Corcovado and Siesta by Yoshiko Kishino as a guest vocalist.
And in thsi year she has joined the new album of Orange Pekoe, also took part in the soundtrack of the movie “Inochi” (the film starring Makiko Esumi and Etsushi Toyokawa), still broadening the field of her activities.
Also included the tittled “Red Note” was written for Panasonic TV-CM by herself.
In 2003, her best selected album “PORTRAIT” was released on March.
And this year as she made 43 days concerts and live-performance with own group in a year.
On Nov. of this year she recorded for new album for 2004 in Prague with genius bassist George Mraz from Prague and drummer Pavel Zboril in Prague and strings in Prague also.
Especially she made all strings arrangements with famous Prague string players.
In 2004, New album “PRAHA” which was recorded in Prague was released on 24 March finally.
And in this year she performed for Bali International Jazz Festival in Bali, Indonesia and
for EBS-TV of Korea was the first visit for Korea.
In 2005, the two albums was released at same time on the 10th debut anniversary in 2005
was titled “HEARTSCAPE” for original songs and “TIMESCAPE” for standards songs.
These the two albums was awarded a prize of Gold Disc for Swing Journal magazine.
And she performed Nocturne of Chopin for Panasonic TV-CM and with this as a start, on July
her first classic albums “NOCTURNE” was released.
In 2006, a bossa nova album is titled “Bossa Nostalgia” was released on May.
And on June she wrote songs for the movie “Nihon No Jitensha Dorobo” and this movie is going to enter for VENEZIA MOVIE FESTIVAL.
In 2008, new album “FACE” which is 14th title was released in April.
And in Nov. she appeared with her band is called “SUPER TRIO” at Blue Note Tokyo.
At present she plays with her trio, bossa nova unit “Brazilian Unit”, classical solo and trio with strings as a new style.
Official Website(English):
Universal Music: