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Atzko Kohashi

Atzko Kohashi, who currently resides in Amsterdam, is a Japanese born pianist with international background. By the age of 5, her musical path began by studying classical piano in Japan. During her university studies (Law at Keio University in Tokyo), she joined the college jazz big band. From 1994-2001, Atzko lived in New York where she studied jazz piano with the master Steve Kuhn. After moving back to Tokyo in 2001, she played frequently with various local jazz musicians. Atzko has thus experienced three different cultures: Japanese, American and European. Such multicultural background has surely influenced her view on music and led to her unique musical style. “Warm, Natural and human” ''Still waters run deep” “Being neither too much nor too little, which seems something common with Zen philosophy”– critics describe the playing of pianist Atzko Kohashi. Whilst her musical root lies in Jazz, she adapts the melodies to her own voice. After moving to Amsterdam in 2005, she formed a duo with Dutch bassist Frans van der Hoeven and released duo album Amstel Moments in 2009 and Waltz for Debby in 2013. She also made an album with Drummer Sebastiaan Kaptein called Dualtone. Then all three musicians came together and produced the album Lujon. Atzko went on a tour to Japan as part of the duo in 2013 and as a trio in 2016, playing at several concert halls in Japan. The trio’s concert at Hakuju-hall in Tokyo was selected as ‘’one of the most impressive concerts in the year 2016” by JazzTokyo

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Japanese aesthetics and jazz, does that go together? Certainly. Listen to how the pieces by Duke Ellingston, Wayne Shorter and Pat Metheny sound on this new CD. Simplicity and purity, as you see it, the Japanese Shodo (calligraphy), Sumi-e (ink drawings), Ikebana (flower arrangements), Sado (the tea ceremony) and the Noh (theater). The Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi seeks that simplicity and purity in her music by holding on to Shoshin, a concept from Zen Buddhism that means something like “beginner's mind” - an open attitude, curious, unprejudiced. In that atmosphere Atzko made a recording with two Dutch musicians who also know how to play from that simplicity and openness: bass player Tony Overwater and trumpet player Angelo Verploegen (here on the flugelhorn, a kind of trumpet with a veiled sound)

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