Japanese musician Takumi wins Grammy for best global album

by Feb 6, 2023Featured Article, News

Japanese musician and composer Masanori Takumi won a Grammy award on Sunday for his album featuring songs performed with traditional Asian instruments.

Takumi took the Best Global Music Album award for “Sakura,” released in 2022. The 44-year-old, who plays the piano and shamisen, a three-string Japanese instrument, has said he created the musical pieces to express his perspective on Japan.

A jubilant Takumi said he was “speechless” on stage after being announced the winner at the award ceremony.

Takumi later told reporters that “It feels like somebody else’s affair as I never thought I would receive such a prestigious award, but I will take the time to savor (this moment).”

A nephew of the late singer Hideki Saijo, Takumi has worked as composer and producer for popular Japanese pop groups such as Exile and Da Pump as well as the South Korean all-girl group Kara since debuting as a drummer in a band in 2000.

Takumi, who is from Osaka, had previously been short-listed for a Grammy award for his work with reggae musicians Sly and Robbie in the 2010s.

Among other Japanese musicians, 40-year-old drummer and percussionist Keita Ogawa was among members of New York-based jazz group Snarky Puppy that won the award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

Japanese classical pianist Mitsuko Uchida, 74, was also nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, but did not win the award.