JOE YAMADA. A name well known to many in the music industry around the Pacific Northwest. Although recent CD releases have presented Yamada's gift as a producer, recording engineer, and session musician, he is best known for his original solo piano compositions.
Joe was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan. At the age of 5, he began taking piano lessons. He quit just a few months later. It wasn't until junior high that he started up again, not with lessons, but on his own. "I started listening to the radio more, and I wanted to learn songs that I was hearing on the air. So I sat down at the piano and tried to play them." It wasn't long before his family and friends realized that he had an ear for music.
"I would learn songs by listening to them. That's when I started songwriting and composing. I would hear songs in my head, and would play what I heard." He started writing music when he was 13. His first songs were mostly love songs for 'girls he had crushes on' in junior high. "I just played what felt right."
Throughout high school, he played the drums and trumpet in the school's jazz band, and the guitar 'just for fun.' But he always played the piano because it was a way to express his feelings.
"For me, feelings have to be accompanied by music. When people are sad, they cry. When people are happy, they smile or laugh. When angry some yell or scream... I use my music to sort of complete these feelings that I have, just as one ay laugh or cry. It just seems right."
Currently, he is writing and performing frequently, and his success and popularity continues to grow. From 2001-2003, music from his "Heartfelt" CD was aired every night during the "Light's Out" show with Charlie Brooks on Seattle's Mix 92.5 FM. More recently, several tracks from "Heartfelt" have ranked in the Top 40 list on Whisperings, the online solo piano radio station (iTunes & Live 365.com).
"I write music because it is a way to express my feelings. When others can listen to it and appreciate it... there is no better reward. It amazes me how sometimes words can't get across to others, yet music can reach into a person and touch them in a way that nothing else in the world can. It is that magical ability that makes music so wonderful."
"Throughout my life, I have always dreamed of someday becoming a respected musician who would record, perform, and share my music with people all over the world. With each person who listens to my music on the air or on-line, my dream is coming true."
"Heartfelt" is a collection of original compositions by Joe Yamada. These intimate piano solos are accompanied on a few select tracks by light orchestration. Guest vocalist Melissa DeAnne appears on the romantic love song "My Love".
"I would best describe my music as 'new-age/contemporary/pop solo piano' music. Some romantic, some inspirational, but each with its own unique story... I will continue to share my 'stories' through my music, and hope to share them in my concerts and future CD releases. Whether I play on the main stage or in my living room with family and friends, I will always have my music, and nothing will ever change that."
Joe Yamada is currently in the process of writing music for a new solo piano CD. Up-to-date information about his music is available at www.joeyamada.com .
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