A talented musician, a gifted jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Hiroe Sekine presents jazz standards and her compositions using her very original voices and colors — modern and fresh, yet classic. She has been writing for and performing in numerous concerts and other events for nearly 20 years both in Japan and the U.S. Being a dedicated and truly professional musician, her energy and stage presence at her live concerts have proved magnetic to many audiences.
A native of Japan, Hiroe started playing at the age of four, imitating her mother playing Japanese folk songs on a pedal organ. Eventually changing to piano a year later, she began learning classical piano but simply reading music and basically playing what other people wrote was not for her. Combining a desire to create new tunes with her great ear for jazz, Hiroe’s arranging and composing talents bloomed.
While a music student at USC, Hiroe’s abilities as a composer and arranger earned her the school’s “Discovery Scholars” and “Jazz Chamber Music Ensemble” Awards in 2009.
In the summer of 2009, with the help of her producer Russell Ferrante, the keyboard player/arranger of the two-time Grammy awardee Yellow Jackets, she recorded her debut album, ”a-mé”, which means “rain” in Japanese. This album showcases Hiroe’s own compositions and arrangements of standards for a sextet, Hiroe Sekine (piano), with Bob Shephard (sax), Bob McChesney (tb), John Daversa (tp), Tony Dumas (bass), Peter Erskine (drums) et al.
Since its release in April 2010, the CD has been constantly played by radio stations throughout the US including FM88.1 Long Beach, and was ranked no. 45 in the number of spins in the US among all jazz albums in August of 2010. The CD has been highly acclaimed by many jazz DJ’s and critics (please go to Debut CD for some examples), and it was selected as one of the 25 best main stream and modern jazz CD’s released in 2010 by jazz critic Pico.