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Smooth Jazz Icon Keiko Matsui In Concert In Livermore

LIVERMORE — Keiko Matsui is bringing what Jazz Review called her “wonderful amalgam of exotic melodies, luscious harmonies and global rhythms” to the intimate acoustics of the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Str., in downtown Livermore on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m.

Matsui’s annual appearance at the Bankhead is already selling fast and her shows have sold out completely in the past. Ticket prices range from $20 to $65, with $20 tickets available for students and active military personnel. For tickets call 925-373-6800 or visit

An icon in smooth jazz, Matsui is known for original compositions that speak a universal language, a seamless blend of musical influences from around the world. She returns to Livermore on tour for her album “Echo,” released earlier this year. Described as a “global sonic tapestry,” the album features a number of special guests she has worked with over the years including bassist Marcus Miller, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vocalist Gretchen Parlato and more.

A native of Japan, Matsui began classical music piano lessons at the age of five. By her early teens she had developed a strong interest in jazz and began to compose her own music. At just age 17, she was selected as a recording artist for Yamaha. Matsui made her US recording debut with “Drop of Water” in 1987. Her music displays a fluid and improvisational quality, appealing to audiences across genres. She incorporates diverse stylistic elements from jazz, classical, rock, blues, and world music, woven through with a new age sensibility. Matsui has collaborated with such musical luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, and Bob James, and has twice been named Best Female Artist at the National Smooth Jazz Awards.