My friend Adelle’s holiday gift to me this year was a very special night spent with her, her musician son Josh, and jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara.
Adelle got us tickets to Hiromi’s one-night only concert at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, held at a tent by the waters of Manila Bay. It was too cold inside the tent but the seats were soft and Hiromi was magic. Her fingers flew over the piano, releasing cascades of sound, light tinkling followed by deep crashing in complicated layers.
I enjoyed her “Choux a la Creme”, an original composition based on her experience of eating a cream puff; her jazzy rendition of one of my favorite classical pieces, Pachelbel’s “Canon”; and her “Viva Vegas” suite – “Showgirl, Show City”, “Daytime in Vegas”, and “The Gambler”.
An amazing performer, Hiromi is gifted, her talent indisputable. She has mastered her instrument of choice to such a level, using it in imaginative ways like reaching in to manipulate the strings inside to mute the lower octaves to sound like a bass guitar.
Her personal style is fun and playful, from her hair and dresses to the color-coordinated sneakers on her feet. Her fingers are pale and strong and dance nimbly over the keyboard. She is a joy to watch and hear.
Here’s her ‘cream puff song’, a rollicking happy gem of a tune.