|Birth name||Taeko Kunishima|
Taeko Kunishima (September 2) is a Japanese jazz pianist. Initially influenced by classical composers, she switched to jazz music after listening to Miles Davis. She incorporates traditional Japanese music into her repertoire.
Kunishima first contact with the piano was at the age of seven. Influenced by classic composers such as Beethoven and Mozart she soon enjoyed playing piano. Kunishima studied classical piano at university. After listing to the music of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis her style changed significantly. She later moved to England and began to develop her style, according to AllAboutJazz, "her startling, angular contemporary jazz approach, echoing Thelonious Monk and influences of her native Japan." In the United Kingdom she worked with other musicians with individualistic styles, such as Latin pop and electronic music. She performed live sessions on Resonance FM and Jazz FM. The first station played her albums Space To Be and Red Dragonfly. She recorded her debut album, Space to Be, in 2004, and her second, Red Dragonfly, in 2006, both issued by 33Jazz. She performed in Isle of Wight International Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, and the Vortex Jazz Club, and since 2006 collaborated with shakuhachi player Clive Bell. In January, June and July 2008 she was backed by American drummer David Bowler from the Ahmad Jamal Trio on her gigs in Germany. He continued playing in Germany the next years and also performed in her home country. Her third album, Late Autumn, was recorded in May 2011. The album was produced by Bell, and was inspired by the works of Japanese film maker Yasujirō Ozu. It "mixes her natural lyricism with Japanese surrealism and fast swing American jazz".