A native of Tokyo, Japan, "Tada" Unno has worked with a virtual who's who of jazz, including significant periods with the likes of Roy Hargrove and Jimmy Cobb. His style resembles that of one of his mentors, Hank Jones, a great believer in his talent. He is considered one of Japan's most gifted musicians, for his technique, his creativity, his sense of balance, beautiful tone, good taste and innate musicality. Tada's other key mentor was the late Japanese pianist Yuzuru Sera.
Born to parents who appreciate music, Tadataka Unno grew up listening to a vast array of genres, and began playing the piano at age four. By age nine, he was already captivated by jazz and began playing it. He attended Tokyo University for Music and Fine Art where he studied music composition. Upon graduation, Unno joined the trio of one of Japan's leading bassists, Yoshio Suzuki, and his career then took off. He spent this first decade in Japan, and then in 2008 decided to move to the United States, the birthplace of jazz.
Before long, Unno was selected to attend Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead in 2010 at the Kennedy Center in D.C. Upon recommendation by Nathan Davis and Curtis Fuller, he attended the Jazz Rising Stars Program of Ravinia Festival in Chicago in the same year. In 2013 he performed for a week at the Village Vanguard as a pianist for Jimmy Cobb Trio with Paolo Benedettini. In 2014 Unno joined a tribute concert for the late great Dick Morgan in D.C with Steve Abshire, David Jernigan, David Einhorn, Nasar Abadey.
That autumn he released his fifth album "Journeyer" and toured Japan with Hassan J.J. Shakur and Jerome Jennings. Tada was an integral part of the Jimmy Cobb Trio, the Roy Hargrove Quintet (sadly, but poignantly, he was Hargrove's last pianist, from 2016-2018), and also enjoyed working in the bands of Winard Harper and Jeli Posse, Clifton Anderson Quartet, the John Pizzarelli Trio, Jazzmeia Horn, and Jane Irving.
Since arriving in the United States, Tada Unno has performed at such prestigious venues as the Village Vanguard, the Kennedy Center, Dizzy's Club, Blue Note, Blues Alley, Jazz Showcase, Smalls, Mezzrow, Fat Cat, The Cell, Minton's, Lenox Lounge, Jazz Standard, Side door, Scullers, Dakota, Catalina, New Morning in Paris as well as churches and local restaurants like Arturo's in West Village.
In addition to those previously mentioned, Tada Unno has performed / recorded / toured with Frank Wess, Joe Wilder, Jimmy Heath, Houston Person, Slide Hampton, Al Foster, George Mraz, Essiet Essiet, Jim Cammack, Ray Drummond, David Williams, Curtis Lundy, Gerald Cannon, Willie Jones III, Eddie Henderson, Wallace Roney, Eddie Allen, Annie Ross, Mary Stallings, Roberta Gambarini, Joel Press, Bob Mover, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Billy Kaye, Jackie Williams, Steve Little, Steve Williams, Victor See Yuen, Steve Nelson, Dave Pike, Chuck Redd, Nicki Parrott, Ralph Moore, Javon Jackson, Vincent Herring, Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, John Webber, Chuck Riggs, Peter Washington, Kenny Washington, Neal Smith, Joe Farnsworth, Jonathan Blake, Patrick O'Leary, Jacob Melchior, David Wong, Dezron Douglas, Yasushi Nakamura, Jerome Jennings, Jovan Alexander, Jonathan Barber, Ben Solomon and others.