Hiro Morozumi was raised in Japan, and began studying music at the age of four.
His mother was a piano teacher. In her lessons, she color-coded notes and had
him sing the notes along. Remarkably, Mr. Morozumi developed a perfect pitch.
But in middle and high school years, he neglected piano and started playing
guitar, and played numerous free shows at local venues. Rock was his first love.
But meeting his first guitar teacher changed his life - he was introduced to
improvised music. From then on, Mr. Morozumi borrowed new fusion and jazz
records every day and dubbed them all on tapes. He transcribed and practiced
scales like a maniac. Seeing how obsessed a kid can be to improvised music, his
guitar teacher advised him to study music in the United States. So starts his
Shortly after starting at the University of North Texas, Mr. Morozumi started
practicing piano again at the age of twenty. Having nothing but time to
practice, he made a remarkable improvement: within a year, he was giging on
piano. He joins the legendary swing band, the Lakewood
Rats, with whom he
recorded and toured for a year and a half. He also stayed busy performing with
school ensembles at North Texas, the most notable of which is the Down Beat
award-winning 2 o'clock Lab Band.
While he studied jazz piano and voice at the University, he stayed active as a
freelance keyboardist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth scene, performing at venues such
as Sambuca Jazz Cafe, Terrilli's, and the Dallas Museum of Art, to name a few.
He was also in high demand for the area's jazz festivals such as Denton Arts and
Jazz Festival and Addison Arts Festival. He has also made TV appearances in
programs like "Good Day Dallas." Upon graduating with a master's
degree, he relocated to Japan. Mr. Morozumi currently plays with the quartet led
by Shelley Carrol, the saxophonist/vocalist from the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Colaboration with Carrol greatly succeeded in the group's first Japan tour in
January 2004, bringing in more than 1200 people at the Ichihara City Hall and
getting a live-show feature in Sakura CATV. Between his sideman stints, Mr.
Morozumi has also been playing with his own trio, with whom he has recorded his
Mr. Morozumi is also promising as a composer. He has received a full composition
scholarship to the 2003 Henry Mancini Institute and had premiered an orchestral
piece "A Hiroic Tale" in the UCLA Royce Hall, and had a chance to
record in the Sony studio under Al Schmitz' engineering. For this piece, Mr.
Morozumi won the 2003 Down Beat Best Extended Composition Student Award. Mr.
Morozumi was also commissioned to compose for a story ballet based on Ul de
Rico's "Rainbow Goblins" by
Arc Dance Productions of Seattle, WA,
and performed for the ballet's premier at the University of Washington. He also
composes and makes goofy sound effects for multimedia and internet projects.
Mr. Morozumi is also an avid swing/salsa dancer. He has been bringing joy to
many people, both in the States and Japan, with his highly acclaimed weekly
swing / salsa lessons!