- Kazunori Sugiyama
(b Kyoto, Japan, April 16, 1967). Japanese pianist and leader. She learned piano from the age of four. While attending the Berklee College of Music (from 1986) she played in jam sessions with Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, and others, and she made her professional début with Slide Hampton in France (1988). After graduating in 1989 and moving to New York she became the pianist in Jesse Davis’s quintet, which served as the house band at Augie’s. She toured the USA, Japan, and Europe with Gary Thomas (1990), Europe and the USA with Joe Henderson, and the USA and Japan with Kenny Garrett (1991), and during the same period she worked with Terence Blanchard, Greg Osby, the Mingus Big Band, and Mingus Dynasty. On moving back to Japan in 1992 Onishi joined Shigeharu Mukai’s quintet and formed her own trio, whose first recordings were highly successful; Rodney Whitaker and Billy Higgins were the sidemen on her second album. In ...