ERIKA MATSUO Birthday Bash
Thursday, January 24 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Jazz at Kitano – 66 Park Avenue (at E. 38th Street)
Cover: $18 with a $20 minimum for food and beverage
Jazz at Kitano hosts New York-based Japanese jazz singer Erika Matsuo for two sets.
Matsuo burst onto the international jazz scene in 2010 with her self-produced album Obsession, a sensual sojourn through American, Brazilian, and original songs, which was hailed by All About Jazz as “a promising debut, beautifully produced and finely performed.” She had previously self-produced a single, “Close My Eyes,” in 2007.
The Fukuoka native was a protégé of the great Sheila Jordan and studied classical piano as a child. While in her late teens, Matsuo joined an all-girl rock group, the Tear Drops, which won first prize in the Yamaha Teen Music Festival in May 1994. A chance meeting with jazz pianist Yusuke Hirado led to her an invitation to record and perform in New York as lead singer of his band. It was the beginning of her love affair with New York. Matsuo soon relocated, studying for a BFA in jazz voice at City College of New York and immersing herself in the city’s jazz scene, exploring everything from straight-ahead to Brazilian jazz.
After graduating from City College, where she was also awarded the prestigious Pro Musica award, which is given to graduating music majors for distinguished service to the cause of music at the college, Matsuo went on to win first prize in the highly prestigious Asakusa Jazz Contest in Japan and, in 2007, was featured in Coca Cola’s So-Ken-Bi Cha TV commercial, becoming one of the most recognized voices in Japan.
Based in New York, she has performed at many of the city’s top venues, including BB King, Sweet Rhythm, the Kitano, S.O.B.’s and the Blue Note, and regularly tours Japan.
In 2017, Matsuo released her latest album, Reflections, on which she performs songs written for her by Monday Michiru and Yusuke Hirado. More than 14 different musicians record with her on this album including Steve Wilson, David Gilmore, and Johnathan Blake.
The lineup for January 24:
Erika Matsuo – Vocals
Steve Wilson – Sax and flute
Helio Alves – Piano
Juancho Herrera Rey – Guitar
Moto Fukushima – Bass
Franco Pinna – Drums and Percussion
Reservations are strongly recommended, especially for the first set. To make a reservation, please call Jazz at Kitano at 212-885-7119. For more information about Jazz at Kitano, please visit The Kitano Hotel New York’s website.