Born: April 16, 1967 Primary Instrument: Piano
Junko Onishi - pianist
Debuting as a recognized young virtuoso, Junko Onishi, made a splash on the New York scene after coming out of Berklee in 1989, and by 1993 had recorded with some of the top tier jazz men primarily Kenny Garrett and had a solid effort out as leader with her debut “Cruisin.”
Ms. Onishi by 1994 did a double set recording “Live At The Village Vanguard,” (Blue Note) which was well received and showed what she is capable of in a live setting at a legendary venue. She was backed on these sessions by bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Herlin Riley.
In 1995 she released “Piano Quintet Suite,” again for Blue Note in which she was accompanied by trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, alto sax man Elichi Hayashi, bassist Rodney Whitaker, and drummer Tony Rabeson.
She then put out a live effort for EMI in 1996, and then “Best,” for the Sonet label in 1998.
Onishi took a surprise turn in material in 1999 when she did covers of pop and rock tunes in her project entitled “Fragile,” a dramatic departure from her hard bop and mainstream influences.