Originally from Fukushima Japan, Masayoshi Ishikawa grew up in a city called Aizu Wakamatsu. Throughout his primary and secondary school years, Masa 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, Masa has performed at many jazz festivals and concerts in Italy, China, Japan and the United States. He was chosen to perform as one of the five finalists for 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. Masa enjoys interacting and cultivating meaningful relationships with listeners and other musicians through performing music.
Masa is also passionate about crafting music with various instrumentations. His composition, Hotaru (firefly), was selected as the winner of 2014 Downbeat Student Music Awards in Graduate Original Composition for Small Ensemble. In 2019, Masa released his first jazz studio album titled Dialogue, which consists of ten original compositions written for vibraphone, piano/keyboards, acoustic bass/electric bass and drums. Several of his compositions have been published from UNC Jazz Press.
In March 2021, Masa collaborated with Eien Hunter-Ishikawa (taiko drums/shinobue) on his new composition Haseru to commemorate the 10th year of Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake tragedy. In May 2015, he also premiered a jazz orchestra multi-movement work titled Suite for the Forgotten. The suite is dedicated to people who are currently living in Fukushima under the uncertain health impact of the radiation exposure from The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants meltdown in 2011. In this composition, Masa employed a string quartet as well as French horn into the traditional jazz big band instrumentation.
Masa currently teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College (Saint Peter, MN) as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music. He directs the Adolphus Jazz Ensemble, the Gustavus Vocal Jazz Ensemble in addition to teaching applied Jazz Piano.