Destined to Connect with M.E.E.- Keiko Matsui
First I must tell you that the hands of fate were truly at work. I missed Keiko Matsui’s Houston performance in February, but this time I believe we were destined to meet. My schedule was completely booked until a few days before Keiko’s arrival. Then miraculously my schedule was cleared and I was led to her performance announcement.
I’ve never felt anything like I experienced listening to Keiko’s music. Her music is like a spiritual light beckoning for you to come in and find solace from the world. It was a call of rejuvenation, a musical prayer that made my inner spirit swell. I felt compelled to reach out to her team. I thought that it might be a long shot to confirm an interview on such short notice, but her team quickly responded to M.E.E. and the stars were aligned for our notable introduction.
On October 6, 2012, Keiko landed in the Lone Star State to promote her new project – The Road…, released in January 2011 by Shanachie Entertainment. The Road…, is Keiko’s long awaited, self produced, 22nd album released in the US. It is also Keiko Matsui’s first new recording in four years and a follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 South African inspired release entitled Moyo, which featured Hugh Masakela among other amazing artists. The Road…, is a riveting collection of timeless, passionate, cathartic, emotional and exotic melodies with lush harmonies and global rhythms.
The sense of peace and harmony that I experienced from her music translated into our meeting. Keiko was absolutely divine! I felt an overwhelming sense of calmness while spending time getting to know her. She has a very open and welcoming demeanor and it felt as if we had met before. I was so comfortable with her that I forgot it was an interview; we talked as though we were long time friends.
Keiko’s no borders ideology to music poured out of her personality. “Music has no borders and it creates a oneness among people,” confided the Japanese born pianist, composer and producer. Now I understand why her unique melting pot of musical influences have garnered her a devout international following.
We touched on many topics; her beautiful daughters, work and life balance, how music saved her life, her musical influences, the transition into music from Japan and what her fans mean to her. Keiko has a bubbly sense of humor and was ecstatic about experiencing a Texas BBQ with Joe Sample, who told her to give him a call whenever she was in Houston. Keiko took him up on his offer and Joe Sample invited her over to his house for a Texas style BBQ, and she had a blast!
That night following our meeting, Keiko performed to a thunderous crowd at one of Houston’s best-kept secrets Dosey Doe, located in the Woodlands. She put on the ultimate show! She took control of that stage and delivered a 90 min non-stop entertaining and truly unique experience. Keiko is a phenomenal jazz player, and her music has such strong classical, world and new age influences that the result is truly unparalleled. She was joined by the killer musical talents of Jackiem Joyner on sax, Eric Baines on bass, Blake Aaron on guitar and Steve Hass on drums. This band shook the building!
The Keiko experience is a must! I have much more to reveal about this harmonious spirit, in an upcoming issue of In The Jazzy Limelight. I went to meet Keiko for an interview, but left with enlightenment. Keiko’s star is pretty bright in the industry, and yet, she extended her hand to M.E.E. in support of our endeavors and I was moved by this beautiful gesture.
The staff & management team at Dosey Doe rolled out the red carpet for M.E.E. and were gracious hosts to all their guests. I applaud them for their hospitality and professionalism. Dosey Doe is one of the most well respected listening rooms in the country featuring nationally recognized artists from contemporary to country, jazz to bluegrass, and everything in between. The 165-year-old historical structure has been saved for its current purpose. Originally built as a tobacco barn in Kentucky the 300-600 year old growth oak & birch massive beams are the foundation not only for a beautiful room but also for the great acoustics. It is a place where memories are made. No need to run from restaurant to music hall at Dosey Doe’s you have it all. http://www.doseydoescoffeeshop.com/
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