Aki Takase was born in Osaka and grew up in Tokyo. She already had piano- lessons when she was three years old. Piano was her main subject during her studies at the Tohogakuen University in Tokyo. 1979 she had a longer stay in the U.S.A. 1981 at the Jazz-festival in the philarmony of Berlin, the first celebrated performance with her trio featuring Takeo Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Ino in germany. Numerous concerts and recordings with Dave Liebman, Sheila Jordan, Cecil McBee, Lester Bowie, Bob Moses, Joe Henderson, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and many more followed. In the nnetees for years very successfull duos with the singer MARIA JOAO, and with the saxophonist DAVIA MURRAY. Work in trio with REGGIE WORKMANN and RASHIED ALI in duet with ALEX von SCHLIPPENBACH, as well as occasional projects with the TOKI STRING ORCHESTA. Actual is above all her co- operation with the bass- clarinettist RUDI MAHALL as well as with the lyricist YOK TAWADA, each time a duo, and also her trio DEMPA (with Aleks Kolkowski and Tony Buck). Record- prizes of the UDJ Aki Takase got in 1990 (Play Ballads of Duke Ellington), 1991 (Shima Shoka), 1994 (Blue Monk), and 1998 (Duet for Eric Dolphy). From 1997 to 1999 she worked as guest-lecturer at the university for music „Hanns Eisler “ in Berlin. 1998 she received the critic-prize of the „Berliner newspaper“. In the year 2001 her Solo-CD’S „Le Cahier du Bal „(Leo Records) was published as well as her „W.C.Handy-Project“ with Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram, Fred Frith and Paul Lovens under the name „St. Louis Blues“ (Enja Records). Aki Takase received the SWR Jazzaward 2002 for the St. LouisBlues CD and in 2004 she was awarded the prestigious German Critics Award (Preis der dt. Schallplattenkritik). Since then she is working on numerous new projects which are duos is Alexander von Schlippenbach, Lauren Newton, Silke Eberhard (Ornette Coleman Anthology) and Louis Sclavis as well as in Trio with LOK 03 (Alexander von Schlippenbach & DJ Illvibe), TAMA (Jan Roder and Oliver Steidle), Aki and the Good Boys, La Planete Quartet with Louis Sclavis, Vincent Courtois and Dominique Pifarely, to mention just a few. Aki Takase is one of the most creative jazzartists nowadays.
„I believe that the giant masters of music in history would all agree with me when I state that band leaders are concerned with how they can let the members of their band (whom they have dragged into their own personal amusement park!) express themselves freely and how they can showcase their individual personalities. Think of Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, Gill Evans, Miles Davis – each band has its own sound, yet provides a venue for each member to express their full personality. Aki’s septet is the 90’s expression of this ideal. Following the tradition of jazz, she has pulled together an ensemble from a free, easy, and broad vanguard of jazz players who have rounded out the Republic of Jazzmen.“ – Aoki Makoto’s liner notes
Up to now, Aki Takase has maintained this ideal attitude and sense of freedom with all the different projects she is involved in.