Masahiko Satoh

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Masahiko Satoh

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Tokyo, Japan


Born in Tokyo in 1941, Masahiko Satoh is a pianist whose career has spanned six decades and over a hundred albums. His style is known for blending influences from American jazz with traditional Japanese music. 

Satoh’s interest in music began at the age of five, when his family moved into a house that contained an upright piano. In the late 1950s, prompted by financial strain due to his father’s business failing, the then-teenaged Satoh joined a band, gaining popularity and playing with famous jazz musicians such as Akira Miyazawa and Sadao Watanabe before he graduated high school. 

Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and onwards, Satoh composed music for television, film, and advertisement, in addition to collaborating with .  Soundtrack composition, he claims, does not give him an opportunity represent him creatively, but does provide him with a steady income. His music can be heard in animated films such as Studio Ghibli’s Panda Go Panda (Isao Takahata, 1973) and Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973). 


Schofield, John. “Pianist Infuses Jazz with Japanese Spirit.” The Wall Street Journal. 8 Oct. 1991.

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