I was born in Japan and studied classical piano performance at university. When I heard Miles Davis on the radio, I switched to jazz.
I had a long absence from musical activity while living in the Middle East, and shortly after, in my youth. By experiencing different cultures and listening to Japanese, classical, jazz and Arabic music I was inspired to write my own diverse compositions .’ Taeko Kunishima ( June 2022: Website blog at taekokunishima.com )
Kunishima has released 5 albums on 33 jazz records and been played on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction, Jazz FM, BBC World, and Resonance FM.
The Taeko Kunishima Band (with developing line ups) has had performances at: Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival, London EFG Jazz Festival and The Vortex jazz club.
She has collaborated with shakuhachi player Clive Bell since 2006, Paul Moylan, the double bass player since 2011. In January, June, July 2008 she played across Germany backed by American drummer David Bowler from the Ahmad Jamal Trio.
James Nadal from All About Jazz chose the last album; Iridescent Clouds as one of his best albums in the 2016 All About Jazz review.
Taeko Kunishima will have released 5 albums on 33jazz records by June this year.
Taeko Kunishima debut album as bandleader was Space to Be. After the release of this album, the band performed at the Isle of Wight Jazz Diva Festival in 2005.
The second album, Red Dragonfly came out in 2006. The band received a warm reception at live performances including the Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival and The Vortex jazz club. In Autumn 2006 she completed a UK tour with the help of Jazz Services.
Taeko Kunishima's third album Late Autumn , with a new line up, was released in 2011. 'Intriguing compositions diverse instrumentation ...the perfect storm of repertoire, arrangements and players ' Lawrence Peryer- All About Jazz - New York. 'Imaginative, unexpectedly varied, powerful but sensitive music from a pianist who should be much better known' Chris Parker- London Jazz.
In January, June, July 2008 she played across Germany backed by American drummer David Bowler from the Ahmad Jamal Trio.
In 2016, she released Iridescent Clouds with the same line up as the previous album, which James Nadal from All About Jazz chose as one of his best albums in the 2016 All About Jazz annual review.
She is releasing the new album Dictionary Land on 33jazz records in June 2022.
Dictionary Land - June 2022
'This album helps to combine my experience of improvisation at live events, diverse cultures and different influences. This involves jazz, classical, world and Middle Eastern music. I hope that adding field recordings to the tracks creates a ‘cinematic soundtrack’ in the visual imagination as well as provoking the normal musical one.
This album includes poetry and music, reflecting on the areas of the world recently and currently in conflict. The wars in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen have given rise to humanitarian crisis. The track ‘Love and Peace’ suggests why we need to appeal for peace first, then ask supposedly rational ‘political’ questions later, assuming there is any reason for the insanity of war, rather than rational dialogue, in the 21st century.’