TROY — Troy-Hayner Cultural Center’s Jazz In March series will present a gifted trio of musicians known as the Keigo Hirakawa Trio at 7:30 p.m. March 19.
This group will include Keigo Hirakawa on piano, jazz legend Eddie Brookshire on bass and well-known percussionist Fenton Sparks.
Hirakawa is a complex and diverse talent. When he came to America from Tokyo at age 11 he was already an accomplished classical pianist. While working on his engineering degree as a young man, he discovered jazz and found a way to study under Anthony Branker, Michael Cochrane, Stephen Scott and Walt Weiskopf. Kiego ended up with a PhD. in engineering as well as one in music from the New England Conservatory where he studied with Cecil Mcbee and Bob Moses, Jerry Bergonzi and Danilo Perez, George Garzone and John McNeil. These days when Hirakawa is not making music you will find him at the University of Dayton acting as an assistant professor and a well published engineer who has done some ground breaking work with color theory. Inside Hirakawa lives a complicated dichotomy between the study of science and the study of music. Its expression seems to be creative improvisation.
Eddie Brookshire is a jazz icon whom we are fortunate has landed in our local area. His professional resume includes performing with Little Jimmy Scott, Little Johnny Taylor, The Drifters, Lowell Folson, Johnny Lee Hooker, Johnny Guitar Watson, T-Bone Walker, Sandra Reeves-Phillips, and Booty Wood, Buddy Webb, Norris Turney, James Newton, Elvin Jones, Cal Collins, Pherez Whitted, Johnny Lytle, Bill Holman, Bob Curnow, Maria Schneider, Claude Williams, Terell Stafford, Snokie Young, Von Freeman, Frank Foster, Jimmy Wilkins, Earl Warren, John Carter, Billy Harper, Benny Maupin, Jay McShan, Roy Ayers, Wilbert Longmire, David “Fathead” Newman, Azar Lawrence, the Afro-Rican ensemble (Afro-Cuban), Five Guys named Moe, and many others. Eddie says that, “… Coltrane, Miles and Shorter” influenced him but his performances are infused with his own unique energy.
Fenton Sparks is a third point in the trio. He has a life long passion for percussion, which brought him to Central State University to study with Lemar Moses. One of his current musical projects is a Louis Armtrong tribute performing with Dean Simms (Ohio Players). He has a music education business called, “Drums On Wheels”, which is an in-home music education service that brings the percussion lesson to the student. He is also in the process of studying mechanical engineering and drafting so that he can design his own line of drums. Fenton’s influences are Buddy Rich, Elvin Jones, Dr. William Komla Amoaku and Dave Weckl.
Together Hirakawa, Brookshire and Sparks bring hard hitting straight-ahead jazz whose improvisation is securely balanced on skillful artistry and a tenured history of making music with some of our great American jazz musicians. Find samples and more information at www.TroyHayner.org
For more information, call 339-0457 or visit www.TroyHayner.org.