B A C K G R O U N D
Growing up in a musical family, Emily began playing piano at a very young age. Her first teacher was her father; later she studied with Robert Turner of Santa Monica, a student of the Lhevinnes at Juilliard. Through him she received first-rate classical training throughout her high school years, winning a number of awards, including first place from the California Music Teachers Association her senior year of high school. Her interest in improvised music drew her to explore the world of jazz, and she has continued to study, perform, and compose jazz works until the present day. Emily has a Masters in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Emily is a founding member of the BoyGirl Band, a jazz improvisation group of over 15 years that includes Art Lande, Mark Miller, Ken Bernstein, and Anisha Rush. The group explores “spontaneous composition,” a process of creating music through listening and playing together without preconceived ideas. Boy Girl Band has performed in Boulder, Denver, and Santa Fe. They have two recordings, Drop Your Leotards (2004) and Down the Corridor (2009).
The Emily Takahashi Quintet came together in January of 2014 to perform her compositions at Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver, and has continued to perform both in Denver and Boulder since then to enthusiastic audiences. Emily’s lifelong immersion in both the classical and jazz improvisational worlds has evolved into a personal language that is a hybrid of both. Her compositions explore the intersection between the lyricism and orchestral elements of classical music with the rich harmony, rhythmic complexity, and open improvisation of modern jazz. Her first CD of original compositions, Not Spoken, was released in 2016.
E M I L Y T A K A H A S H I