Aki Takase was born in Osaka and grew up in Tokyo. She already had piano- lessons when she was three years old. Piano was her main subject during her studies at the Tohogakuen University in Tokyo. 1979 a longer stay in the USA followes, first European appearance and celebrated performance in 1981 at the Jazzfestival Berlin at Philharmony with her trio featuring Takeo Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Ino. Numerous tours and recordings with Dave Liebman, Sheila Jordan, Cecil McBee, Lester Bowie, Bob Moses, Joe Henderson, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and many more.
In the ninetees very successful duos and worldwide touring with singer MARIA JOAO, sax player DAVID MURRAY. Trio with REGGIE WORKMANN and RASHIED ALI, duos with ALEX von SCHLIPPENBACH and projects with TOKI STRING ORCHESTA.
Record- Awards and projects
UDJ Award for Aki Takase in 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1998. From 1997 to 1999 she worked as guest-lecturer at the university for music „Hanns Eisler “ in Berlin. In 1998 she received the Critic Award of the „Berliner newspaper“. 2001 her Solo-CD’S „Le Cahier du Bal „(Leo Records) was published as well as her „W.C.Handy-Project“ with Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram, Fred Frith and Paul Lovens „St. Louis Blues“ (Enja Records), which received the SWR Jazzaward in 2002.
In 2004 the prestigious Yearly German Critics Award (Jahrespreis der dt. Schallplattenkritik) followed. Since then numerous new projects like duos with Alexander von Schlippenbach, Lauren Newton, Han Bennink, Silke Eberhard and Louis Sclavis as well as in Trio with LOK 03 (Alexander von Schlippenbach & DJ Illvibe), TAMA (Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle), Aki and the Good Boys, La Planete Quartet with Louis Sclavis, Vincent Courtois and Dominique Pifarely, to mention just a few.
She is one of the most creative jazzartists nowadays. For years she cooperates with dancer extraordinaire YUI KAWAGUCHI in their ongoing project DIE STADT IM KLAVIER. Aki Takase received the Berlin Jazzaward 2018, in 2021 Deutscher Jazzpreis as best solo artist piano/ keyboards as well as the Albert-Mangelsdorff Preis.