Yoshino Nakahara | A Ray of Light

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Jazz-Pop Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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A Ray of Light

by Yoshino Nakahara

New York based Japanese pianist/composer Yoshino Nakahara's first album "A Ray of Light" is jazz redefined, with an array of fresh and forward compositions and arrangements that truly rock!
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Composition, #1: A Ray of Light
9:05 album only
2. Summertime
5:28 album only
3. Days
4:51 album only
4. Jay Street
5:37 album only
5. It Ain't Necessarily So
5:15 album only
6. E-Funk
6:09 album only
7. Freddie Freeloader
5:20 album only
8. Composition, #2: If You're Willing To
4:32 album only
9. Take Five
6:08 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Yoshino Nakahara is a multi-talented, professional pianist, composer, and arranger.

“A Ray of Light," represents Ms. Nakahara’s strong will and transformational journey through music. The album features her readiness to do battle using her combination of femininity and creative intelligence as an accomplished pianist. She cuts through extraneous musical information to get to the heart of the matter: there’s always a "ray of light" after the dark. Ms. Nakahara's brilliant compositions and arrangements are always ready to "break free" when a musical cliche might be imminent.

Ms. Nakahara recorded this album with three of New York’s finest jazz musicians: Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (sax), Leon Boykins (bass), and Peter Kronreif (drums). Their extraordinary performances enhance that "ray of light" that Ms. Nakahara both emanates and follows. 

This debut album includes five of Yoshino Nakahara's original compositions: "A Ray of Light," "Days," "E-Funk, "Jay Street" and "Composition 2 ~If you're willing to~" all influenced by her life in the U.S., plus four arrangements of Jazz Standards: such as “Take Five,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “Freddie Freeloader” and “Summertime."

Yoshino Nakahara's "A Ray of Light" is jazz redefined, with an array of fresh and forward compositions and arrangements that truly rock!!!

- Liner notes by Ms. Blu


Ms. Nakahara has performed internationally with highly acclaimed musicians such as Kiyoshi Kitagawa, E.J. Strickland, and Gilad Hekselman. She is a brilliantly skilled  and accomplished musician, a pianist described as having beautiful tone, rich harmonies, incredible rhythmic control, showing great influence from various musical genres.

After hearing and playing with Ms. Nakahara, Gregory Hutchinson, who is described as “the drummer of his generation” by Jazz Magazine and who is one of the most highly respected musicians of our time said: “Your time feel is surprising. I know many pianists, but it is rare to see a pianist who plays such adventurous improvisation like you.“ When  introducing her to another top Jazz drummer, Mr. Hutchinson described Yoshino Nakahara as a pianist who “transcends time signatures."

Ms. Nakahara started playing piano at the age of four and studied classical music at Yamaha Music School in Japan. While she was studying at Yamaha, she composed original tunes that combined classical music with pop. She was a finalist in the Children’s Composition Competition both times that she competed. 

Ms. Nakahara has enormous respect for Claude Debussy and Frederic Chopin and has received a great amount of influence from them. We can hear this influence in her rich and beautiful harmonics in both her performances and compositions.

After graduating from Keio University with a law degree, Ms. Nakahara briefly pursued a career as an office worker. However, she became captivated by Jazz and realized a growing passion to be part of the Jazz community as a musician. So, she came to the U.S. and started to fully concentrate on studying Jazz Piano at one of the most prestigious Jazz schools, Berklee College of Music in Boston. Yoshino Nakahara received a World Scholarship in 2009 and was honored with a Professional Music Major Achievement Award in 2011 for her outstanding musicianship and her musical contributions.

Ms. Nakahara has performed her original compositions, arrangements and Jazz/Fusion/Latin tunes with her band that brought together some of the top musicians in the Boston area. She played at recognized venues including Lilypad, MIT, Berklee Performance Center (BPC), Harvard Club, and Cafe Luna, just to name a few. She also had the opportunity to play at Boston radio station WERS 88.9 FM and for Boston musical theaters as well.

After graduating from Berklee, Ms. Nakahara moved her home base to the main Jazz scene, New York. She has played at several prestigious venues, including Rockwood Music Hall, Zinc Bar, Metropolitan Room, Showmans, Somethin’ Jazz Club, and Tomi Jazz, to name a few. She has lead some of the brightest and best musical talents, such as Gilad Hekselman, Kiyoshi Kitagawa, E.J. Strickland, Leon Boykins, Jeff Miles, Evan Sherman, Peter Kronreif. 

In September, 2012, Ms. Nakahara played weekly as the "Artist of the Month" at Tomi Jazz. She also has been invited to perform in the Talent Showcase at Metropolitan Room (which is an established event that music industry professionals pay a great deal of attention to). She has been playing as a sidewoman and has explored various kinds of music, playing Gospel as an organist in a church.

As a recording artist Yoshino Nakahara has gained an established reputation. She has recorded a popular Japanese composer’s compositions, some of which have been distributed on iTunes, Amazon and many other digital music download stores, and she arranged a piano solo version of his compositions and recorded it for TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.) drama. 

She has also worked for Nippon Television Music Library, Android App and many other projects.

Ms. Nakahara’s foundation of knowledge, coupled with her technical mastery of the piano, playful musicality, remarkable musical input and output, and professional musicianship has made her an ideal selection for a wide range of musical productions.



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