Noriko Ueda

b. 14 March 1972, Osaka, Japan. From the age of 14, Ueda studied classical piano and two years later began playing electric bass. Her piano studies continued until she was 20, and in the meantime she…
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Artist Biography

b. 14 March 1972, Osaka, Japan. From the age of 14, Ueda studied classical piano and two years later began playing electric bass. Her piano studies continued until she was 20, and in the meantime she had also begun to compose. During the last two years of these studies, she concurrently studied classical singing at Osaka College of Music. It was at this time that she made the change to playing the acoustic double bass, which thereafter became her principal instrument. After leaving Osaka College early in 1992, Ueda began playing at the city’s jazz clubs, work that provided an opportunity to accompany visiting jazz musicians such as Kenny Barron, Joe Chambers, Benny Green, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Smith and Grady Tate. In 1994, she joined pianist Kiyoshi Takeshita for a year and then went to the USA to study at the Berklee College Of Music, where she majored in jazz composition. While at Berklee, she appeared on the 1997 BMG release Summa Cum Jazz: The Best Of Berklee College Of Music. From 1996, she led an all-Japanese, all-female trio, Groovin’ Girls, which has recorded in the studio and also appeared on Black Entertainment Television’s Jazz Central. With her in the group are pianist Takana Miyamoto and drummer Masumi Inaba.

Ueda has composed extensively, often for big bands. Several of her pieces were used on Live At TUC, a 2001 radio broadcast on FM Tokyo. In 2000, 2002 and 2003 her compositions were performed at the BMI Annual Showcase Concerts. Her ‘Castle In The North’ won her the 2002 BMI Foundation’s Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize and the following year her ‘Power Of Spring’ was played at the BMI Annual Showcase Concert. This same composition was selected for the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop and was performed at the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Education) Annual Conference in January 2004. Ueda is a member of DIVA, the all-female big band, led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, and she also plays as a member of the DIVA small group, Five Play.