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Naoko Sakata 

Naoko Sakata (born 1983) is a Japanese pianist who currently lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. Naoko is recognised for her fearless and intuitive improvisations and her heartfelt playing has become her personal trademark. Her music reaches from the very depths of calm poetic beauty to intense explosive chaos, where everything comes together as one powerful expression. The music she creates is the daughter of the moment and therefore unrepeatable, pure improvisation. In addition to the artist's freedom of expression, there’s nothing else and is almost impossible to classify into a genre or a category.

Naoko has received multiple prestigious awards for her music and performance, among these are: Soloist prize from Nordic Jazz Comets, Newcomer of the year from Swedish National Radio P2 jazzkatten, Alice Babs award, Stena Stiftelsen culture award, SKAP-Swedish composers and authors award etc. 


Naoko Sakata describes her approach to music as follows:


“When I sit in front of the piano, I channel the energies inside and outside me. Music flows in me and my body express the music that I  hear in me in that moment. There are no obstacles to its realisation and I don't follow rules on how to make it happen. It is at the same time something natural and highly spiritual, sacred and wild, something that lives in a moment in time and only in that, before disappearing forever ”.


- Dancing Spirits is her 2nd solo piano album and consists of 7 free improvisations. It was recorded in August 2020 in Annedalskyrkan, a church in Gothenburg Sweden by Filip Leyman. The album is released on the Swedish record label led by Anna von Hausswolff  "Pomperipossa Records" 26 March 2021.  


- Inner Planets (Footprint Records) is Naoko's first solo piano album . 

It was recorded during two days in February 2019 at studio Epidemin in Gothenburg.

Released in 2020.


In 2023 on the 8th of September, her 3rd album "Infinity" was released on Pomperipossa Records.  


The Guardian selected "Infinity"as one of the best contemporary albums of 2023.

-Pianist Sakata plays with a striking fierceness and energy-  John Lewis, The Guardian   

- Naoko Sakata makes music that touches the sublime-   Lorna Irvine, SNACK Magazine


- Experimental piano incantations. Instinctive, feminine and absolutely wild - Mary Anne Hobbs  BBC 6 Music 

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