Ayako Shirasaki (白崎 彩子, Shirasaki Ayako) is a Japanese jazz pianist and composer living in Brooklyn, New York. She began her professional career at the age of twelve by playing gigs at the "J" jazz club in Tokyo. She was featured in Swing Journal. Shirasaki took classical music as her major at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and gave concerts as a classical pianist for several years after graduating before returning to play jazz.
She moved to New York City in 1997. In August 2003 the Japanese indie label What's New Records released her debut trio CD "Existence" (Lewis Nash on drums, Marco Panascia on bass) in Japan. "Musically Yours" her second CD was released in June, 2005. Before giving birth to her two children, Ayako's solo piano album "Home Alone" was released in April 2006. In the same year she has been featured on Marian McPartland's National Public Radio Show Piano Jazz. and on the compilation CD "An NPR Jazz Christmas with Marian McPartland and Friends, Vol. 3".
She was a finalist in the Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Piano Competition in 2005 and 2006 and the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
After her parental leave she continued her career with a performance at the 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009 in Germany. In 2010 she performed at the Jazz Journalists Association Awards Gala.
2003 - Existence,
2005 - Musically Yours,
2006 - Home Alone,
2010 - Falling Leaves - Live in Hamburg,
2006 - An NPR Christmas Collection with Marian McPartland and Friends,
2006 - NPR Jazz Christmas With Marian McPartland and Friends III,
2009 - Best of 1st International Jazz Solo Piano Festival 2009
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license