Originally from Fukushima Japan, Masayoshi Ishikawa grew up in a city called Aizu Wakamatsu. Throughout his primary and secondary school years, Ishikawa actively participated in several choirs. He came to the United States in 2003 to begin his formal musical training in Seattle Washington, where he first found his passion for piano and the art of jazz.
As a pianist, he has performed at many jazz festivals/concerts including Italy, China and the United States as well as engaged in multiple professional recording sessions. He was chosen to perform as one of the five finalists for 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. Ishikawa enjoys interacting with other musicians and am thankful for cultivating meaningful relationships through performing music.
As equal to his dedication to jazz performance, Ishikawa also enjoys crafting music with various instrumentations. Several of his compositions have been published from UNC Jazz Press (www.uncjazzpress.com)
His composition, Hotaru (firefly), was selected as the winner of 2014 Downbeat Student Music Awards in Graduate Original Composition for Small Ensemble. His composition Wasururuka was also selected as one of the finalists for the International Composition Competition “Maurice Ravel” in 2016. Ishikawa received artist-residencies from Kimmel Harding Nelson Center (Nebraska-City, NE), Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Saratoga, WY), Caldera (Sisters, OR) as well as Mid-Career Artist Grant from Prairie Lake Regional Arts Council. Ishikawa is also the recipient of 2017 Swenson-Bunn Award for Teaching Excellence from Gustavus Adolphus College.
As a sincere respect to Stevie Wonder, one of his musical heroes, Ishikawa premiered Stevie Wonder Recomposition Project in 2013. In this project, Ishikawa selected multiple Wonder compositions to recompose for chamber jazz ensembles with various instrumentations.
Ishikawa also wrote and premiered a multi-movement work titled Suite for the Forgotten in 2015. The suite is dedicated to people who are currently living in Fukushima under the risk of exposure to radiation. In this composition, Ishikawa employed a string quartet as well as French horn into the traditional jazz big band instrumentation. Several of his compositions have been published from UNC Jazz Press.
Ishikawa holds two Master of Music Degrees-one in jazz composition from the University of South Florida and one in jazz piano performance from the University of Northern Colorado. He received Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. Ishikawa currently serves as a Visiting part-time Assistant Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota where he teaches Music Theory, Applied Jazz Piano as well as directing The Adolphus Jazz Ensemble and The Gustavus Vocal Jazz Ensemble.