*“For me my mission in my life’s journey is to the heart. It has a double meaning…your heart and your inner self,” said Soul Train Music Award nominated Japanese Jazz Pianist Keiko Matsui about the meaning to the title of her 27th August 5, 2016 album release “Journey to the Heart” (Shanachie Entertainment).
Matsui shares her time between her native country Japan and her U.S. home in Los Angeles, California. It was during a stay at Catalina Island in California where she crafted most of the melodies in “Journey to the Heart.”
“My process of making albums is a little different,” Keiko, who was in Tokyo at the time of the interview, informed me when asked about her recording process. “The melody is very important it takes a lot of time to perfect the melody.”
This album release marks the 30th anniversary since her debut release in 1987 of “A Drop of Water.” On the “Journey to the Heart” project Matsui enlist the assistance of Cuban musicians Carlos Del Puerto (bass) and Jimmy Branly Del Puerto (drums), Ramon Stagnero (guitar), Luis Quintero (percussionist), and Gregoire Mare (harmonica). They will be on her 2016 winter tour.
“I didn’t really pay attention…it felt very natural,” Keiko Matsui said when asked about the growth of her talent. “I started composing in elementary school. I’d get in a special place and I start composing melodies. I started taking lessons (at 5 years old) but never thought I would do it professionally. I just started recording music. What I want is to make the most beautiful music in the world.”
The “Journey to the Heart” album includes such selections as “Blue Rose,” “Moving On,” “Carnival,” “Butterfly,” “Casablanca,” “Havana Nights” and “New Beginnings.”
When asked about the title which is so close to the title of my biographical book “Journey to Love” Keiko said, “The title came during the process of recording. In my music the hook is the heart so I wanted to use ‘in the heart.’ Through the process of recording, talking to a producer I got the idea of ‘Journey to the heart” – the perfect title.”
Matsui’s 8th album release “Dream Walk” in 1996 stayed on top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart for over 15 months. Her 2001 album release “Deep Blue” stayed on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts for three consecutive weeks. Also a humanitarian Keiko has leant her talents to help many worthy causes such as breast cancer where her song “Say It, Fight It, Cure It” was featured on a Lifetime Network special on women battling cancer and the Susan G. Komen Foundation benefit where she performed with Olympic figure skaters. She helped save the trees when her 1998 album release “Full Moon and the Shrine” was accompanied by her PBS special “Keiko Matsui: Light Above the Trees” which earned her multi-National Smooth Jazz Award. She fights hunger, in 2004 the title track to her album “Wildflower” was used to support the United Nations World Food Program for its efforts in Africa. She supported marrow donating when she collaborated with Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) performing in numerous concerts. Her mini-album “A Gift of Life” proceeds went to the National Donor Program and Marrow Foundation in support of A3M.
“Journey to the Heart” is yet another masterpiece of a project that I expect to do great things for the heart and for the world.
“My fans are waiting for me…to deliver the music…to deliver the concerts,” Keiko said sincerely about her motivation to another record album. “For my fans I was continually always on a journey to the heart of my fans and to the heart of myself. The core of the creator is the heart…I get so excited.”
You will get so excited too about the music and piano skills of Keiko Matsui when you hear “Journey to the Heart” I am sure. Learn more about Matsui by logging onto www.Shanachie.com or www.KeikoMatsui.com.
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENT: Sat October 22, 2016 the “Uplifting Minds II” Free Entertainment Conference arrives at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, CA. www.UpliftingMinds2.com.