glenn horiuchi
Piano, Shamisen, Composition

tribute | discography | press | photo album | video

As an improvisor and composer, Glenn Horiuchi was indebted to the jazz avante garde, Asian traditions, and Western classical music.

He had performances at the Berlin Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Mexico's Japan Fest, Seattle's Earshot Festival, Asian American Jazz Festival in San Francisco and Chicago, New York's Japan and Asia Societies, Los Angeles Festival, Edmonton's Jazz City Festival, Japan America Theatre, Knitting Factory Piano Festival, Yale University and Brown University.

He was the recipient of composer fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and California Arts Council, and grants from Meet the Composer, LA Cultural Affairs, City of San Diego and San Diego Community Foundation.

He had performed with Joseph Jarman, Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, John Tchicai, Art Davis, Francis Wong, Miya Masaoka, Tatsu Aoki, William Roper, Mark Izu, Min Xiao Feng, Tom Buckner, San Jose Taiko, and Nobuko Miyamoto.

Horiuchi gave talks and workshops at the Japanese American National Museum, Wesleyan University, Northeastern University, California Institute of the Arts, University of Denver, Stanford University, University of Colorado, San Jose State University, University of Southern California, and University of California at Berkeley, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

Glenn Horiuchi had worked as an auto mechanic, was a graduate student in mathematics, a political activist, a construction worker, music teacher, and was an ongoing student of Nagauta and zen. Glenn lived in Los Angeles with his wife Edna and son Kenzo.

Glenn was diagnosed with colon cancer in August 1999, and fought a courageous battle until he passed away on June 3, 2000.


  • Fair Play, Horiuchi, Soul Note 121328, 1999
  • Elegy for Sarajevo, Asian Improv AIR-0035, 1999
  • Pachinko Dream Track 10, Jarman/Horiuchi/Wong, Music and Arts CD-1040, 1998
  • Dew Drop, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0031, 1997
  • Mercy, Horiuchi, Music and Arts CD-962, 1997
  • Hilltop View, Horiuchi, Music and Arts CD-935, 1996
  • Calling is It and Now, Horiuchi, Soul Note 121268, 1995
  • Kenzo's Vision, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0022, 1995
  • Live in Berlin, Horiuchi, Asian Improv (cassette only), 1993
  • Oxnard Beet, Horiuchi, Soul Note 121228, 1992
  • Poston Sonata, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0008, 1992
  • Little Tokyo Suite, Horiuchi, Asian Improv (cassette only), 1992
  • Manzanar Voices, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0006, 1989
  • Issei Spirit, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0005, 1989
  • Next Step, Horiuchi, Asian Improv AIR-0002, 1988
  • What's the Difference Between, Miya Masaoka, Victo 0058, 1998
  • Golden Hearts Remembrance, Leo Smith, Chap Chap CPCD 002, 1997
  • Pilgrimage, Francis Wong, Music and Arts CD-974, 1997
  • Devotee, Francis Wong/Genny Lim, Asian Improv AIR-0030, 1997
  • The Asian American Experience, Primary Source Media 7909 (CD-Rom), 1997
  • Sounds like 1996: Music by Asian American Artists, IEL 0002 1996
  • RMB Sampler, various artists, Marc Sabatella, 1996
  • Family, Anthony Brown, Asian Improv AIR-0027, 1996
  • Ming, Francis Wong, Asian Improv AIR-0020, 1995

Critical Excerpts

  • "The scope of his musical imagination parallels his virtuoso technique." David Lewis, Cadence, 5/97.
  • "Una musica estroversa che ha assimilato las lezione avanguardistica di un Cecil Taylor, e riporta all'interno di una scrittura che accoglie anchi ritmi non europei, a volte minimali." Helmut Failoni, CD Classica, 9/96.
  • "Glenn Horiuchi se taille la part du lion avec son jeu de piano eclate mais dense. Il s'est inspire des gestes quotidiens pour exprimer sa musique, par exemple des gestes de son fils lorsqu'll dort (d'ou le titre). Chacun des cinq titres a une histoire, triste, dramatique ou au contraire joyeuse." Philippe Renaud, Improjazz, 9/95.
  • "Four and 1/2 Stars...pioneering evocative new musical combinations steeped in the traditions of Asian and African-American music" Dan Oullette, Downbeat, 2/93.
  • "Horiuchi has assimilated urban jazz, country blues, atonal energy music and Japanese tonalities into a coherent whole." Krin Gabbard, Cadence, 9/89.

© 1997-2011 Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith