Miki Hirose – Mini Interview

1. Where are you from and how did you get into jazz?
I was born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. I started playing jazz and the trumpet when I  entered Konan Junior High School (at 12 years old). My junior high school was connected to a high school and though they didn’t have any music major they had a strong Jazz Band club activity. In the Jazz Band, there were Taku Kuroda, Akihiro Yoshimoto, Akihiro Nishiguchi, Kunpei Nakabayashi to name a few. Just get to hear those cats practicing and performing, made me want to become a better trumpeter. Those cats were personally super cool too.
2. Why did you decided to move to New York City when only 20 years old?My mentor, Takashi Shimamoto, who had lived in NYC for a while came back to Kobe around 2000. I started to take lessons with him. Hearing his real experiences in NYC turned me on. I moved to NYC right after I graduated from High School.
3. How is the scene in New York City different to Japan?
I feel like music and art are more respected in NYC, also musicians are trying to protect that respect.
4. What are your current projects?
I have my own 12piece big band, Miki Hirose Jazz Orchestra which I hope to release our first album this year. Also i have my quintet, Miki Hirose Quintet. I have biiig fun playin with them.
5. Three favorite albums?
Tough question!! As of today:
Clifford Brown with Strings
My Funny Valentine(concert)/Miles Davis
April in Paris/Count Basie
Miki Hirose & his Jazz Orchestra will be performing at Jazz House Alfie in Roppongi on New Year’s Eve, Sunday Dec 31st. You can hear an extended interview with him on the Tokyo Jazz Map show at JJazz.Net from Wed Dec 27th.