Aki Takase

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Aki Takase
Aki Takase in June 2008.jpg
Aki Takase in June 2008
Background information
Born (1948-01-26) January 26, 1948 (age 67)
Osaka, Japan
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra
Website www.aki-takase.de

Aki Takase (高瀬 アキ?) (born January 26, 1948 in Osaka) is a Japanese jazz pianist and composer.


Raised in Tokyo, Takase studied music at Toho Gakuen School of Music.[1] Starting in 1978, she performed and recorded in the US.[1] Her collaborators included with Lester Bowie, David Liebman, and John Zorn. Since 1981, she performed repeatedly at the Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany.

For many years, she has been working with her husband[2] Alexander von Schlippenbach, as well as with Eugene Chadbourne, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Fred Frith and others, and in duets with Maria João, David Murray and Rudi Mahall.

In various projects, Takase has dealt with famous jazz musicians: Duke Ellington (1990), Thelonious Monk (1994), Eric Dolphy (1998), W.C. Handy (2002), Fats Waller (2004), and Ornette Coleman (2006).

In 2002, Takase recorded with writer Yoko Tawada. Takase had read some of Tawada's poems, and, as the writer reported, she "started composing melodies and settings for my texts. When we got together, I read my poems in the same way that I always read them out loud. Aki played, listened carefully to the poems, and started improvising."[3] In later performances, Takase used more unconventional instruments when accompanying Tawada.[3]

Since 1987, Takase has lived in Berlin.[citation needed]


  • 1981: Minerva's Owl
  • 1982: A.B.C.
  • 1982: Perdido
  • 1988: Looking for Love (with Maria João)
  • 1990: Shima Shoka
  • 1992: Close Up of Japan
  • 1993: Clapping Music
  • 1995: Play Ballads of Duke Ellington
  • 1995: Piano Duets: Live in Berlin, 1993–1994
  • 1997: Oriental Express
  • 1997: Duet for Eric Dolphy
  • 2001: Le Cahier du Bal
  • 2002: Diagonal (with Yoko Tawada)
  • 2002: News from Berlin
  • 2002: Nine Fragments: Dempa
  • 2003: The Dessert
  • 2003: Plays Fats Waller
  • 2004: Plays Fats Waller In Berlin
  • 2004: St. Louis Blues
  • 2005: Lok 03
  • 2006: Tarantella
  • 2006: Spring in Bangkok [live]
  • 2007: Ornette Coleman Anthology (with Silke Eberhard)
  • 2007: Ich hebe meine Augen in die Welt (with Michael Griener)
  • 2008: Live at Willisau Jazz Festival (Aki and The Good Boys)
  • 2009: Evergreen (with Rudi Mahall)
  • 2009: Yokohama (with Louis Sclavis)
  • 2009: Rolled Up (with Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle)
  • 2010: A Week Went By
  • 2011: Kanon (with Kazuhisa Ushihashi and Axel Doerner)
  • 2011: Two for Two (with Han Bennink)
  • 2012: New Blues (with Eugene Chadbourne, Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram, Paul Lovens, guest Alex von Schlippenbach)
  • 2014: So Long, Eric!: Homage to Eric Dolphy (with Alexander von Schlippenbach)


  • The German Record Critics' Award 2001, 2004, 2006. In total she received the awards seven times.
  • Jazz Award of the German public broadcasting company SWR 2002[4]


  1. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  2. ^ Aki Takase discography at Discogs
  3. ^ a b Brandt, Bettina (January/February, 2006) "An Interview with Yoko Tawada". World Literature Today (80:1) pp. 43-45.
  4. ^ SWR - Südwestrundfunk

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