HIRONOBU SAITO ARTIST PROFILE
Born in Miyazaki prefecture, Hironobu Saito received a music award at the Teens Music Festival in his early teens. After graduating university, he began working as a white-collar worker, but contemplating his future, he decided to quit within a year. Looking towards a path in music, he received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music and traveled to America in 1999.
There he worked with Victoria Travel on a song for a television commercial in 2002; in March of the same year, he represented the students of Berklee College of Music's Guitar Department, playing in a duo with Peter Bernstein. During this time he also studied under artists like Joe Lovano, Mick Goodrick, Richie Hart, Hal Crook, Kiyohito Kizumi. In 2003, he received the Guitar Achievement Award; the next year, while playing regularly at the Blue Note in New York, he became the first Japanese artist to have a CD debut with the Spanish label Fresh Sound Records. At this point he had released 4 leading albums and 2 singles.
Signing an endorsement contract with Ibanez Guitars, in 2008 he completed an original signature guitar called "The Sea" with an embedded guitar synthesizer (the company's first semi-acoustic guitar model, and the first product they had coated with lacquer). In 2009, he signed contracts with YAMAHA for acoustic guitars, Koaloha for ukuleles, and Hughes & Kettner and Mark Bass Amp for amps; he also played in his very own quartet at the Monterey Jazz Festival, one of the 3 major jazz festivals in the world.
In 2011, he received the "Best New Artist" awards at the 23rd Music Pen Club Music Awards, Japan's Grammy's equivalent.
Currently he is based in New York, but performs in Europe, North America, Hawaii, Africa, Asia and Japan. He loves nature and surfing.
As of March 2011, he is on a world tour with the title "An Homage to the Green Star."