BIGYUKI, born Masayuki Hirano in Japan, looks up to the stars. His modern synth-jazz suggests a cosmic aesthetic. And he has aligned himself with other luminous artists, from Meshell Ndegeocello to A Tribe Called Quest. Hirano says he tries to make his music “as accessible as possible,” with the intention of attaining a measure of stardom for himself.
On this Checkout podcast from the Montreal International Jazz Festival, BIGYUKI teams up with Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music for a performance at the Gesù amphitheater. In addition to a taste of the music, we’ll hear an embarrassing story from around the time BIGYUKI appeared on Guiliana’s 2014 album My Life Starts Now.
Last November BIGYUKI released Reaching For Chiron, a sonically immersive album with contributions from vocalists Chris Turner and Bilal. We’ll delve into that futuristic recording as well as Hirano’s fascinating background: how he found a path to the jazz tradition through the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, and how learning Chopin on his teacher’s lap as a kid informed his evident physicality on the keyboards.
Assistant Producers: Anthony Nieves and Sarah Geledi