LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jazz pianist Keiko Matsui has planned a worldwide concert tour to promote the National Marrow Donor Program.

``I learned more about the organization and their goals and found out the urgent need for minority donors,'' she said after a downtown news conference last week.

``I believed I could do something through my music because it touches so many fans. I'm aware of how music brings happiness, hope and well-being. This program inspires me and made me realize there's a desperate shortage.''

Matsui's latest recording, ``Deep Blue,'' was released July 17.

She recorded a four-song CD called ``Gift of Life.'' Proceeds from that CD will go to the National Marrow Donor Program and its chapter, Asians For Miracle Matches; along with The Marrow Foundation, which alerts the Asian, black and Hispanic communities to the need for marrow donors.

``I was aware that marrow transplants help,'' she said. ``What I didn't know was that we need more donors due to the rare percentage of marrow matches.''

The Deep Blue/Gift of Life tour kicks off Saturday at California State University, Long Beach. A portion of the ticket sales will go to the programs.

Matsui, a Japanese-born composer, splits her time between homes outside Tokyo and in Huntington Beach. Her husband, shakuhachi flute player Kazu Matsui, accompanies her on recordings.

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On the Net:

http://www.marrow.org

http://www.AsianMarrow.org