9 October 1958, Tokyo, Japan. Fujii began playing piano at the age of four, studying classical music until she was 20. Concurrently in this period, she also spent three years studying violin. In 1978, she abandoned the piano for a year to conduct practical studies into the origins of music. She then returned to the piano, and developed her improvisational abilities under the guidance of Koji Taku, a classical pianist turned jazzman, and then, importantly, with jazz pianist Fumio Itabashi. Among early influences were John Coltranes A Love Supreme and she has expressed her admiration for the piano playing of Itabashi, Bill Evans and Abdullah Ibrahim. In 1984 she met her future husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. A year later, she was playing piano in a big band in a Tokyo nightclub when she decided to return to studying, this time entering Berklee College Of Music where her teachers included Herb Pomeroy, and she also studied privately with Jerry Bergonzi. Fujii...