What a better world sounds like


Derek Nakamoto:
A musician in motion

A Bindu Records profile


Derek Nakamoto has carefully developed an uncommonly diverse and successful musical career since his arrival in Los Angeles 14 years ago. From producing Grammy nominated records and No. 1 singles to collaborating with the best Pop, R&B, Jazz and New Adult Contemporary artists, Derek has proven his extraordinary talents to be magical.

He is that special breed of musician and producer who brings sensitivity and credibility to all that he touches. Whatever genre of music he is working in, he takes its musical essence and pushes it one step further. The result can be an exquisitely sexy tension in an R&B track, a lush spaciousness in a NAC instrumental, an edgy attitude to a rock song, or a delicacy and poignancy in well-crafted pop tune. Whatever is called for, Derek prides himself on delivering the perfect rendition for the artist. That subtle power is his signature.

Born (1955) and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, of Japanese-Chinese ancestry, Derek at the age of nine was already playing piano and organ for the St. Patrick's Church Choir of Honolulu. After touring internationally, Derek joined Liz Damon's Orient Express, the first Hawaiian band to have a Top 10 record.

In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles and collaborated with Epic recording artist Hiroshima for concerts, compositions and recordings. He co-wrote and arranged the songs, "Distant Thoughts," "I've Been Here Before," and "Thousand Cranes," which have been embraced on Jazz and NAC radio stations worldwide. ("Thousand Cranes" was recently included on the "Wave Aid II" Album to benefit AIDS Research.) He then toured under the tutelage of French composer-arranger Michel Colombier for singer-songwriter Paul Anka.

By the mid-80's, Derek established himself as an ace keyboardist in the L.A. music scene, working closely with such hit-making producers and artists as Richard Perry, Brian & Eddie Holland, The Pointer Sisters, Michael Jackson, Shep Pettibone, Kenny Loggins, Calloway, New Order, and Troop. As an arranger, Derek has been called on by Grammy-nominee Gerald Albright, Boyz II Men, Phil Perry, Keiko Matsui, Cathy Sledge, Akira Jimbo, and others. Derek has also released two self-produced solo recordings - "Formentera" on Kazu Records/Sonic Atmosphere and "The Winter Blue" on White Cat Records.

Venturing into theatrical presentations, Derek has arranged and orchestrated Holly Near's musical drama "Fire in the Rain, Singer in the Storm," which debut on Broadway last fall. He also underscored the award-winning radio broadcast drama "The Last Game Show" and is currently serving as Musical Director to Great Leap, an important multi-cultural performing arts organization headed by Nobuko Miyamoto.

His production credits include such giants as Herb Alpert, Teddy Pendergras & Lisa Fischer, Limahl, Billy Griffin, as well as critically acclaimed debut records for Nicky Holland (from Tears for Fears) and Fernando Saunders (Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful). Derek has worked with the elite of the recording industry, such as Giorgio Moroder, Hugh Padgum, Bob Clearmountain and Bill Bottrell. His recent project, Belgian superstar group Clouseau for EMI-Holland, has been certified Gold. He has recently completed albums for Rita Coolidge, Akira Jimbo & Keiko Matsui as well as co-producing Kazu Matsui's album, "The Wind."

He has currently completed synthesizer arrangements and performing on five new songs on the upcoming Michael Bolton LP for Sony Music as well as arranging and performing on "Tribal Mozart," an album in collaboration with The Kazu Matsui Project on Countdown Records. Both projects are scheduled for October 1997.

Derek Nakamoto is the real thing. Throughout his career, he has met with tremendous commercial success along with respect for his constant pursuit of excellence and artistry. As keyboardist/arranger, composer or producer, he always conveys the poetry of the emotion.


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