Aki Takase - p
Twenty-six years ago Vilnius Jazz was opened with the appearance of pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, and this year the opening stage will be graced by his talented wife and stage partner Aki Takase.
This couple of pianists collaborates with various formations – from performing piano four hands to the programmes of Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra led by Schlippenbach. In addition, they perform and record with Alexander’s son Vincent, known as DJ Illvibe. The trio is called LOK.03.
The span of the aforementioned projects testifies to Aki Takase’s wide creative horizons. She rarely gives solo appearances. This year’s concert agenda is crowded with 20 different projects in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands,
Born in Osaka, Aki Takase grew up in Tokyo. Since 1987, she has resided in Berlin, where she ranks among the most interesting European improvisers of the past decades. Her recordings harvested 8 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik; she was voted the Best Musician of the Year. The pianist worked as a guest-lecturer at the university for music Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
Aki Takase is acclaimed not only for her original style, but also resourceful renditions of the legacy of jazz legends. She earned awards for projects dedicated to Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Eric Dolphy. The pianist paid tribute to Ornette Colemann, Fats Waller and blues classics leaving the audiences impressed for respect to her precursors and at the same time daring approach to their legacy.
As an improviser Aki Takase is yearned for by many a musician. The list of her stage partners resembles a contemporary jazz encyclopaedia. The pianist collaborates in duos with singers Maria Joao and Lauren Newton, wind players David Murray, Louis Sclavis, Rudi Mahall and Silke Eberhard, double bassist Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen, percussionist Han Bennink to name just a few jazz innovators.
The pianist gives many performances as a duo with writer Yoko Tawada and also dancer Yui Kawaguchi, collaborates in a number of trios, quartets and quintets.
Aki Takase has worked in projects with Rashied Ali, Fred Frith, Lester Bowie, David Liebman, Cecil McBee, Bob Moses, Joe Henderson, John Zorn and other giants of improvised music.
Having started playing piano at the age of three Aki Takase has kept her youthful curiosity and creative energy to this day.