Japanese Jazz Pianist Tadataka Unno Left Unable to Play the Piano or Hold Infant Son After Eight-Person Assault in New York

Tadataka Unno

40 year old jazz pianist Tadataka Unno has been left unable to play the piano or hold his infant, after an attack by eight people in New York.

Yahoo Japan and Sanspo report (translation: Google Translate) Unno was attacked by eight people on September 27th, after leaving a subway station near his home. One teenage boy attacked him near the ticket gate, and when he fled the others joined in the assault. Unno said one of them said something about “Chinese.” No suspects have been arrested.

No money was taken, but after being taken to hospital for emergency treatment it was discovered the attack left him with a broken right collar bone. He also suffered bruises on his head and body. Unno reportedly stated his injuries have left him unable to play the piano, or hold his four month old son.

A GoFundMe campaign for Unno (organized by close friend Jerome Jennings) raised almost $90,000 USD. The money will go towards “emergency medical bills, physical therapy, rent, utilities, groceries, mental health support (therapy), taxis, moving expenses (in order to move to a neighborhood where they feel safer), and childcare.”

According to Unno’s own website, he was born in Tokyo in 1980. Playing piano at age 4 (and jazz at 9), he attended Tokyo University for Music and Fine Art studying music composition.

He joined Yoshio Suzuki’s trio after graduating, and moved to Japan in 2008. He then attended the Jazz Rising Stars Program of Ravinia Festival in Chicago in 2010. At one point he was also mentored by jazz pianists Hank Jones and Yuru Sera (even being by Jones’ deathbed in May 2010).

By Autumn 2014 he had released his fifth album Journeyer, toured Japan, and performed at numerous US jazz clubs. He was (at the time the website bio was written) a member of the Jimmy Cobb Trio, Roy Hargrove Quintet, Winard Harper and Jeli Posse, Clifton Anderson Quartet, John Pizzarelli Trio, Jazzmeia Horn, and the Jane Irving band.

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Image: Tadataka Unno official website.

Ryan Pearson


Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.