First Word Records is extremely proud to welcome aboard Takuya Kuroda. A highly-respected trumpeter born in Kobe, Japan, Takuya is a forward-thinking musician that has developed a unique hybrid sound, blending soulful jazz, funk, post-bop, fusion and hip hop music. After following the footsteps of his trombonist brother playing in big bands, he relocated to New York to study jazz & contemporary music at The New School in Union Square; a course he graduated from in the mid-noughties. It was here that Takuya met vocalist Jose James, with whom he worked on the 'Blackmagic' and 'No Beginning No End' projects. Following graduation, Takuya established himself further in the NYC jazz scene, performing with the likes of Akoya Afrobeat and in recent years with DJ Premier's BADDER band (also including acclaimed bass player, Brady Watt). Premier said "The BADDER Band project was put together by my manager, and an agent I've known since the beginning of my Gang Starr career. He said, 'What if you put a band together that revolved around a trumpet player from Japan named Takuya Kuroda? He's got a hip-hop perspective and respect in the jazz field..." Takuya Kuroda is already incredibly prolific, releasing five albums in the past decade and fortifying a solid reputation in the global jazz scene. 2011 saw the release of Takuya's independently-produced debut album, 'Edge', followed by 'Bitter and High' the following year and 'Six Aces' on P-Vine in 2013. Takuya was signed to the legendary Blue Note Records in 2014 for his album 'Rising Son', as well as appearing on their 2019 cover versions project, 'Blue Note Voyage'. He released his 5th album 'Zigzagger' on Concord in 2016, which also featured Antibalas on a reimagining of the Donald Byrd classic 'Think Twice'. Late Summer 2020, Takuya Kuroda returns with his sixth album 'Fly Moon Die Soon'. In his words, "this album is about the irony between the greatness of nature and the beautiful obsceneness of humanity. Melodies and grooves fly back and forth from being spiritual to being vulgar." This first taste is a delightful slice of uptempo jazz-funk entitled 'CHANGE', which also features Corey King on vocals from New York; a prolific composer and multi-instrumentalist in his own right. 'CHANGE' is out digitally worldwide on July 17th, whilst the album Fly Moon Die Soon' is due to be released on Worldwide Award-winning UK label First Word Records on vinyl & digital in September 2020.