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Mine Kawakami: Pianist

Mine Kawakami :profile image


Mine Kawakami is a pianist, composer, cook, drawing artist and world traveler. She is one of the very few musicians who was invited to perform as a prayer at Kizomiyu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kyoto and Kasuga Taisha, Nara, both in Japan, and the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (Mezquita de Cordoba), and the Cathedral of Santiago (Catedral de Santiago de Compastela), both in Spain.

She began playing piano at age three. She is trained as a classical pianist until little after graduated from the Piano Department of the National College of Music in Munich(Hochschule für Musik und Theater München), Germany.

One day, Mine decided to go to Spain where she traveled with her parents as a child. She was looking for inspirations to find her own music. When she arrived, Mine was involved in a life-changing incident: she lost all her belongings by robbery. Contrary to the scary nature of it, losing everything was invigorating to Mine. The flamenco was overwhelmingly moving, the local people took care of her with tapas and beer for several nights, and fresh seafood at the market was so abundant. All of them convinced her to live there. Two months later, she was a master class student at the Piano Department of the National University of Music in Madrid(Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid). When she met Chucho Valdes, the Grammy-winning jazz pianist, she was blown away and magically knew that was the music she was looking for. As soon as she graduated, she moved to Cuba.

After a successful recital at the National Theater in Havana, Mine was invited as a visiting lecturer to the Cuban National School of Music(ISA, Instituto Superior de Arte(La Habana), Escuela Profesional de Música “José White“ (Camagüey)). While teaching piano and music history, she studied Latin jazz, Tumbao, and composition. She also acquired various skills through her students, colleagues, and neighbors including fishing, binding sheet music, tuning and repairing a piano, playing a piano with missing keys, playing during power outages and so on. She also travelled Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and various parts of Asia.

Through the collaborations with global and diverse musicians over the years, Mine gradually discovered her roots in traditional Japanese music. Japanese have listened to the sounds of nature such as insects and rain as music, taking in all components in the moment as harmony and comfort for more than a thousand years. Mine creates her music with the same attitude and delivers her prayer by the piano. That is how her unique style of composition and performance was developed.

Mine is Currently based in her two studios in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and Kyoto, Japan.