Jazz trumpeter Takuya Kuroda is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward mixing post-bop and adventurous soul-jazz. Born in Kobe, Japan, Kuroda followed his older trombonist brother into the local music scene, playing in big bands. After studying music in Japan, Kuroda relocated to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Kuroda befriended upcoming jazz vocalist José James, who invited Kuroda to record with him. Kuroda appeared on James’ 2010 sophomore album, Blackmagic, and later on No Beginning No End — for which he also wrote the horn arrangements.
Edge Upon leaving Berklee, Kuroda moved to New York City, where he enrolled at the New School’s Jazz and Contemporary Music program, graduating in 2006. After graduating, Kuroda quickly ensconced himself in the vibrant N.Y.C. jazz scene, performing with such artists as Junior Mance, Greg Tardy, Andy Ezrin, Jiro Yoshida, Akoya Afrobeat, Valery Ponomarev’s big band, and others. In 2011, Kuroda released the independently produced album Edge, followed by Bitter & High and Six Aces in 2012.
Rising Son In 2013, Kuroda signed with Blue Note Records and recorded his third solo album, the José James-produced Rising Son. Released in 2014, Rising Son featured a strong soul-jazz and hip-hop influence exemplified by the presence of several Roy Ayers compositions including “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” which featured James on vocals.
Zigzagger In 2016, Kuroda returned with his fifth solo album, and first for Concord, Zigzagger. Produced by Kuroda, the album found the trumpeter expanding upon his funk, fusion, and hip-hop-influenced sound with another set of mostly original compositions. Included on the album was a collaboration with New York Afro-beat ensemble Antibalas.