George Nagata

~ A journey of emotions with a song loving pianist~

On a cold New Year’s Eve, I ventured out on a rare excursion to listen to some jazz in a cosy venue.

That was the night I met with the sound of George Nagata’s piano, playing along to the voice of a singer that I knew. Something in his music caught my attention, which led me to continue the journey with one, yet another of his jazz infused performances across the city of Tokyo.

What makes his piano special is the emotional connection in his music like no other, which becomes an addiction for many in the audience.

Yet he is also a genius in finding musical gems in the rough, guiding them on a road that may even supersede him. His hands are if they hold a magical wand, teasing out what his co-performers themselves may not know they have within. His piano intertwines with their voices, their instruments, creating a dramatic, yet warm sounding environment.

And this ability doesn’t stop with live performances.

It can be hard to top the excitement and atmosphere of music being created right in front of your eyes. But whether it is because he is blessed with the support of great technical engineers, or has chosen the perfect recording studios, his magic also seems to touch the many albums he has produced with these up and coming artists. They are indeed, some of the most played albums that I hold of artists close by.

His love for vocal miracles is not a hidden secret, given his quarterly “Vocal Crossing” series, counting over thirty, aiming for one hundred. His production skills are put to the test in these series, which he co-produces with singer Daisuke Ito, inviting two exciting guest singers each time.

As for his piano, it has been evolving day by day, the freedom increasing by each performance. Not to mention the occasional chorus, voice percussion, and very rarely, rap (!) that seems to develop and in some cases even take centre place over the melody played by his hands.

Though sensitive, sweet music can be heard from the chords he plays, his comedic interaction with his musical partners can take you on an additional laughing spree. For this, there is nothing better than experiencing the world-class trio “Triple Standards” including George, guitarist Naoto Suzuki and his trusted vocal companion Daisuke Ito.

Have I intrigued you?  Trained in the West Coasts with musical connections across the continents, who knows which corner he may turn up in next.

George Nagata’s website:

Videos uploaded by George Nagata:

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