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photo by Michel Marang

Atzko Kohashi

Jazz Pianist

Curiously, I feel that the uniquely Japanese aesthetic senses of "transience" and "impermanence" seem to be somehow connected to jazz. Spontaneously produced improvisations are only for the moment, and they evaporate into the air as soon as they are produced. It is reminiscent of the Japanese Zen teaching of "the aesthetics of imperfection." I want my music to flow as naturally as “Sumi-e” (Japanese ink- brush paintings).    - Atzko Kohashi

News

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Thank you Native DSD music for the award of best jazz duo album 2023.
 


Happily finished! Cairo Jazz Festival in Egypt

More about Cairo Jazz Festival →
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Upcoming concerts



Feb 11th, 2024
Splendor, Amsterdam    with Tony Overrwater≪ Futuring Special guest Theresia Philipp≫

                                                                     


Feb 16th, 2024
U Jazz in Utrecht    Duo with Tony Overrwater            



Feb 24th, 2024
Bunker Ulmenwall, Germany     Duo with Tony Overrwater

Biography

Biography

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Atzko Kohashi, who currently resides in Amsterdam, is a Japanese born pianist with international background. By the age of 5, her musical path began by studying classical piano. During her university years studying Law at Keio University in Tokyo, she joined the college jazz big band and started gigging around Tokyo jazz scenes. From 1994-2001, Atzko lived in New York where she studied with the jazz master Steve Kuhn. Atzko has thus experienced three different cultures: Japanese, American and European. Such multicultural background has surely influenced her view on music and led to her unique musical style. “Warm, Natural and human” ''Still waters run deep” “Being neither too much nor too little, which seems something common with Zen philosophy”– critics describe the playing of pianist Atzko Kohashi. Whilst her musical root lies in Jazz, she adapts the melodies to her own voice.

 

Atzko moved to Amsterdam in 2005 and since then she has been working with various Dutch musicians including Frans van der Hoeven (bassist), Tony Overwater (bassist), Sebastiaan Kaptein (drummer), Eddy Koopman (percussionist), Angelo Verploegen (trumpeter), Maya Fridman (cellist), Denise Jannah (vocalist)…, and has released a series of duo and trio albums with them.  Those albums are well received by numerous critics and music lovers.

 

The album “Crescent” (released in Japan in 2021, internationally released in 2022) playing duo with bassist Tony Overwater was nominated for Der Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (The German Record Critics’ Award 2/2022) and Dutch Edison Award (National category) 2022. Their latest album "A Drum Thing" (released in May 2023) is also highly acclaimed.

Projects

Atzko Kohashi (piano)・Tony Overwater (bass)

A Drum Thing
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Recorded at MCO, Hilversum on 15th Dec, 2022 
Mini- documentary - The making of the album 'A Drum Thing'
It Should've Happened A Long Time Ago / For Turiya
Tale of the Fisherman

Crescent

“Crescent” was nominated for Edison Jazz Award 2022 in the Netherlands and Der Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (The German Record Critics’ Award) 2/2022.

"The highly refined Japanese/Amsterdam based pianist Atzko Kohashi and equivalent bassist Tony Overwater invariably deliver excellent chamber jazz. Their Cresent album sounds like a musical star menu, everything is right down to the smallest details: The choice of repertoire, the acoustics, tempos and interpretations are all as delicate as they are tasteful." 

                                 –Edison Jazz Awards 2022

European edition                                                        Japanese edition
​➡ Interview with Atzko &Tony by Jazz Tokyo

Eddy Koopman (percussion) ・Atzko Kohashi (piano)

photo by Rob Becker

    Sketches of Seasons                   

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HYBRID-two channel-SACD High dynamic recording by Rhapsody Audiophile Recordings

"Improvisations driven from the moment and emotion. The direct ambient-like recording technique used in the RAR series from Sound Liaison ensures that the listener is completely absorbed in the recordings.

The musical realization of the seasons is magically portrayed. As if being in a beautiful dream. The palette ranges from the renewing, burgeoning of spring, the glorious of summer, the melancholy of autumn to the cozy embracing of winter."
                                                     - Native DSD

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Denise Janaah (voice) ・Atzko Kohashi (piano)

Lost & Found

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Denise & Atzko at Dela Mar Theater, Amsterdam 2021
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by Rhapsody Analog Recordings
You see two top musicians who are completely absorbed in their greatest passion: Music, where there is never any pretense whatsoever. You do witness an intense and pure chemistry, with which these two acclaimed Ladies of Jazz take each other and their audience to great heights.
                                                   - Jazzdagen, Harderwijk

Atzko/ solo piano

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Reviews

”European flavor with Japanese taste - Music played Atzko Kohashi has an aesthetic restraint, being neither too much nor too little, which seems something common with Zen philosophy.”   Keiichi Baba

 

"Natural, Warm, Human; the melody of life abroad from Atzko Kohashi"   The Holland Times

Still waters run deep. A saying that certainly applies to pianist Atzko Kohashi    Ernst Reijseger, Jazzenzo

‘The performance is characterized by the deep insights and rich nuances brought out by Kobashi. Tony's bass, responding to that, seems to possess its own unique philosophy. There is a deep resonance of thoughts between the two.’
“In their music, nothing is obvious, nothing is random. Kohashi and Overwater adhere to the principle of Open Form, represented by all the composers who signed their works on the album.”    M. Takahashi, Jazz Tokyo

 

"Kohashi and Overwater's duet album 'Crescent' provides an excellent example of fully utilizing the potential of the score, interaction, and improvisation.”

 

"The musicians bring to the surface a more reflective than expressive charge of the compositions, with a poetic, dreamy aura prevailing throughout.”      Krzysztof Szamot, MultiKulti.com
 

"The highly refined Japanese/Amsterdam based pianist Atzko Kohashi and equivalent bassist Tony Overwater invariably deliver excellent chamber jazz. Their Cresent album sounds like a musical star menu, everything is right down to the smallest details: The choice of repertoire, the acoustics, tempos and interpretations are all as delicate as they are tasteful."     Edison Jazz Awards 2022

“Another album confirms the high aesthetic awareness and the great creative and interpretive possibilities of this extraordinary artist duo. Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater play brilliantly, are uncompromising in their narrative structure and convince with their articulatory and textural concepts. This album will not leave anyone indifferent, great music!”      JazzFun.De

 

“With bowed bass and deftly plucked lines, Mr. Overwater forms the melodious counterpart to Kohashi's almost classical keyboard sounds. Together they can also swing wonderfully, the warm sound of the piano and the round tone of the double bass alone are great pleasure.”     https://www.nadann.de

 

“The emotional density with which the duo of Dutch bassist Tony Overwater and Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi deal with John Coltrane compositions reveals how they have internalized the spirituality of his music.”

Gerd Filtgen, https://www.stereo.de/
 

“Pretty daring to perform Coltrane's music like that in duo setting without sax, but it works. Not only are three of Crescent's pieces played with suppleness and empathy, there is also room for one of his own pieces and the well-suited, harmonically played standard What's New.”       Gijsbert Kamer, Volkskrant

“Lonnie's Lament' is without a doubt one of the highlights of the album, with a beautiful interplay that develops in which you can dream away.”

 

"The beautiful sound of the music on this album is of course primarily due to the two musicians, but the location also plays a role, recorded in the Beauforthuis in Austerlitz, a former church with special acoustics.”

Jan van Leersum, Rootstime

 

"Here is an album with a marked inspiration where Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater show a great sensitivity and a perfect communion of spirit.”     Jazz’Halo

Discography

Discography

Photo Gallery

Music Lessons

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