Primary Instrument: Piano
GARY FUKUSHIMA, a native of Seattle, Washington, started formal piano lessons at age eleven, eventually graduating from the University of Washington with degrees in classical piano, jazz studies, and psychology. Upon graduation, he accepted a faculty position with Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, where he taught jazz piano, and he also was a prominent member of the jazz-folk group The Sabella Consort, with tours throughout the country over the course of nearly a decade. In 2003 Gary relocated to Southern California to continue graduate studies with David Roitstein, Wadada Leo Smith, and Charlie Haden at California Institute of the Arts. Gary recently received a Master of Fine Arts degree from CalArts and soon afterward he was offered and accepted teaching positions at two local colleges, California State University, Los Angeles, and California State University, Northridge. He has also recently been hired by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as a teacher in its educational program “Jazz in the Classroom” sponsored through the Los Angeles Unified School District Beyond the Bell program. In addition to his college teaching work and maintaining a small private lessons studio, Gary is becoming increasingly active in the local Los Angeles jazz scene, having recorded and performed with many esteemed musicians including Joe La Barbara, Larry Koonse, Roger Cairns, Matt Otto, Carl Saunders, Darek Oles, Russel Malone, Eddie Wakes, Ben Wendel, Roy McCurdy, and Gary Pratt among others. Gary currently resides in Eagle Rock with his wife Susan, and their cat, Patty.