Biography

1979年生まれ。茨城県水戸市出身。3歳よりピアノを始める。
13歳位からジャズに興味を持ち始め独学でジャズピアノを始める。
15歳の頃浅田光子氏に師事。その頃より地元ミュージシャンとライブ活動を始める。
1998年高校卒業後渡米。Berklee College of Music に入学。
在学中は専ら練習室で練習しセッションをする生活。そして週末はWally'sというボストンでもっともハードコアなジャズクラブに通うという3年間。
Jaleel Shaw,Walter Smith lll,Kendrick Scottなどとセッションやリサイタルをする。
ストレートアヘッドジャズ以外にもDennis Montgomery lll のゴスペルクラスやWalter Beasleyのスムースジャズクラスなど幅広く学ぶ。
現在日本でR&B,Hip Hop系のプロデュースなどを手がけるSub Zero aka Ice DownやEminem,50cent,Ne-Yoなど数多くのビッグネームをプロデュースするNeff-U(Theron Feemster)とも親交が深く影響を受けた事も多々。

2000年に卒業。卒業後すぐニューヨークに移る。
ジャムセッションやライブしたりという日々。

また教会に通いゴスペルにも影響を受ける。
ブロンクスにあるHarvest Field Community Church でハウスバンドとしてプレー。

Robert Glasper に衝撃を受け、彼のライブや彼の主催していたHip Hopジャムセッションに通ったり、レッスンを受けたり。

2003年帰国。

帰国後は東京を拠点にライブ活動。
2006年、横浜ジャズプロムナードのコンペにてベストプレーヤー賞受賞。
2008年、オリジナルアルバム I Need A Change,Too をリリース。
2009年、Ol' School Jazz をリリース。
2010年、Pray をリリース。
2015年、J-Straight Ahead をリリース。

井上陽介、大坂昌彦、太田剣、島田剛、広瀬未来、山口真文や自己のバンドで活動中。
またヴォーカリスト、J-Pop アーティストのサポートやアレンジ、作曲を手がける。
高須クリニックのCMで使われている、SOFFetのJoin The Party Tuneではアレンジ、演奏。Beautiful Smileでは演奏で参加。

Benesseのこどもちゃれんじの音楽を担当。


Japanese Jazz Pianist, composer, and arranger.
Born and raised in Mito Ibaraki Japan.
Yasumasa Kumagai started playing piano when he was 3 years old.
When he turned 13 he started playing Jazz piano by self-education.
At the age of 15 he studied under Mitsuko Asada. At that time he started giging with local musicians.
In 1998, after graduating from high school, he moved to the U.S.
He entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston with a scholarship by way of an audition.
As a student he spent the majority of his time practicing and attending various local jam sessions with fellow classmates, professors and jazz masters in the area.
The most notable part of his performance training came from the famed jazz club Wally's Cafe. It was here that Kumagai not only showcased his skills, but it was also the place where countless jazz icons frequented and gave the young pianist priceless musical experiences first hand. Kumagai was a regular at the club during his stay in Boston.

In many instances he shared the stage with the next generation jazz musicians like Jaleel Shaw,Walter Smith lll, Kendrick Scott and also gospel and R&B veterans Dennis Montgomery and Walter Beasley.

To add to his diversity Japanese Hip Hop R&B producers "SubZero A.K.A. Ice Down" and Neff-U A.K.A. Theron Feemster" have also collaborated together with Kumagai as well as influence each other artistically.

Upon graduating from Berklee in 2000 he spent his life in New York City, gaining even more musical knowledge from working with top players from around the world in the big apple. This included a job in the house band for the Harvest Field Community Church in Bronx.

In 2003 he returned to his homeland in Japan. Since then he has gained much acclaim in the country by basing himself in the heart of the Tokyo music scene.

In 2006 he won the "Best Player" prize at Yokohama Jazz Promenade competition.
In 2008 he released his debut original album entitled "I Need a Change, Too"
In 2009 he released his next album entitled "Ol' School Jazz"
In 2010 he released yet another album "Pray"
In 2015 his newest album "J-STRAIGHT AHEAD" was released.

Yasumasa Kumagai has performed as a sideman with Atsushi Ikeda, Masahiko Osaka, Ken Ota, Miki Hirose, Mabumi Yamaguchi and many other leaders in the Japanese music industry. Not only limited to performance, the fiery young pianist also has continued to compose and arrange for various J-Pop artists as well.