Born: February, 1971 Primary Instrument: Piano
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 on the West and East Coasts, including Yoshi's in Oakland, CA and Birdland in New York City. He has performed with noted musicians including Dave Douglas, Vincent Herring, Akira Tana, Rufus Reid, Wadada Leo Smith, Scott Amendola, Todd Sickafoose, Hafez Modirzadeh, Anton Schwartz, Marcus Shelby, Ray Sandoval, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra, Bob Kenmotsu, Mike Zilber, the CARMA Big Band, San Jose Taiko, Helcio Milito and Arlee Leonard.
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. He has also appeared at many festivals in the Bay Area including the Stanford Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Jazz on the River (Russian River) and Jazz on the Hill (San Mateo). Art has also played in Japan and China.
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 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.