Keiko Matsui, born in Tokyo, Japan as Keiko Doi, is a Japanese keyboardist and composer, specializing in smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new-age music. Her career spans four decades, during which time she has released twenty CDs.
The Wind and the Wolf
Keiko Doi’s mother, Emiko, took her to her first piano lesson in the June following her fifth birthday. Japanese tradition holds that a child who is introduced to lessons at this time will continue in those studies for a long time. The tradition held true for Doi, who studied piano throughout her school years. Though her early training focused on classical music, in junior high school she developed an interest in jazz and began composing her own music. Some of her musical influences at the time included Stevie Wonder, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea.
Doi studied children’s culture at Japan Women’s University (æ—¥æœ¬å¥³åå¤§å¦ nihon joshidaigaku?), but also continued to study music at the Yamaha Music Foundation. Doi was a top student in the Yamaha Music Education System and was selected at the age of seventeen to be a recording artist for them. Thus she joined the Japanese jazz fusion group Cosmos, which recorded seven albums.
At age 19, Yamaha sent Doi to America to record an album, and there she met Kazu Matsui, who had been selected as a producer for the project. In 1987, Matsui recorded her solo debut LP, A Drop of Water. The album’s title, the name of a song by Carl Anderson, was in memory of those who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the year before. Its success led to a record deal with MCA Records.
I fell madly in love with this musician and her music. Some of my favorites are ‘Stingo’, ‘Water Lily’, ‘Moyo’, ‘Mountain Shakedown’ no that’s not true at all.
My ears enjoys all of her music and have all Keiko MatsuiÂ albums as one of my most used Playlists.
I’m never quite sure how I first found her style of music, but it is my go to music when ever I am in a creative bent.
When you are in the mood for something else!
Matsui was rated Billboard’s number three Top Contemporary Jazz Artist for 1997 (she was the only female jazz artist in the top ten), and both Dream Walk and Sapphire appeared in Billboard’s Top Ten Indie Contemporary Jazz Albums for the same year.
Matsui received the Oasis award for Best Female Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year in 1999 and again in 2000. In 2001, Matsui’s first album with Narada, Deep Blue, finally took her to the number one spot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and held the position for three weeks