Recognized in her native Japan as a jazz prodigy (in the 5th grade she was already transcribing Bud Powell solos), Ayako Shirasaki while yet a pre-teen won many prizes including the Grand Prize at the Asakusa Jazz Competition. Her professional career began at the tender age of twelve when she began regular appearances at the J jazz club in Tokyo. Her extraordinary talent was soon recognized, and she was featured in Swing Journal.
Extremely versatile, Ayako majored in classical music at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and performed as a classical pianist for several years after graduation. But the love of the jazz idiom instilled by her father from the age of five won out, and Ayako soon returned to her first love, winning in 1995 second prize in the prestigious First Annual Heineken Jazz Competition.
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September 14, 2010
Ayako Shirasaki: Falling Leaves
August 16, 2010
Win The New Ayako Shirasaki CD Set For Release September 7th
Just a few notes out of Ayako Shirasaki’s piano are enough to realize you are listening to a very special musician. With her amazing combination of feeling, inventiveness and impressive virtuosity, Ayako is one of those musicians that make an unforgettable impression.
- jazztimes.com (Wilbert Sostre)- November 2010 about her new CD Falling Leaves - Live in Hamburg
Falling Leaves is not your typical solo piano outing, it contains several magical moments listeners will turn to often.
- eJazzNews.com - October 2010 about her new CD Falling Leaves - Live in Hamburg
…a highly enjoyable album by a new jazz star in the making.
- AllAboutJazz-New York - September 2010 about her new CD Falling Leaves - Live in Hamburg
To my ears, Ayako is fast on her way to becoming a leading jazz light and fresh voice in the crowded field of performing jazz piano stars.
- Marc Myers, JazzWax.com - September 2010
“Ayako Shirasaki is a devoted, virtuosic, daring and expressive pianist.”
- Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association and senior contributor DOWNBEAT Magazine, September 2009
“Ayako is an extremely gifted musician
New York, NY
Willing to teach
Classic, Jazz, Popular Theory, Improvisation, etc.
Also vocal accompanying is available.
All ages & levels welcome! Lessons may be given at my studio or at the student's home.