Contemporary jazz icon Keilo Matsui began playing piano at the age of five. With sales of over 1.2 million units in the U.S. and sold-out appearances at concert halls across the world, she is one of the most recognized artists in the genre. 

In addition to being the first Japanese artist to top Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart, she actively supports a range of charities, including the Y-Me Breast Cancer Organization. United Nations World Food Programme's efforts in Africa, and California for A3M's charity for the National Marrow Donor Program.

Matsui is now putting the final touches on her latest album, due early 2011 with Shanachie Records. I spoke with her prior to her debut three-night stand happening next week at New York’s venerable Blue Note Jazz Club.

- Congratulations on your very first show at New York’s Blue Note. How do you feel about playing there and what do you expect?

Of course in New York, Blue Note is a legendary place, and I’m very happy to be there. At the same time, I have toured in many different countries, and I always feel very fortunate at the concerts to feel that music connects us beyond the culture, history, country, everything. So, I really feel that this experience at Blue Note will be very special.


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