[Title] ERIKA MATSUO Quintet Live at Kitano [08/29]
[Members] Erika Matsuo (Vocals), Art Hirahara (Piano), Juancho Herrera Rey (Guitar), Boris Kozlov (Bass), Ronen Itzik (Drums)
[Date] Thursday, August 29, 2019 (2 sets)
[Show] 8:00pm / 10:00pm
[Venue] Jazz at Kitano New York
[Address] 66 Park Ave, New York NY 10016 (@ E 38th St.)
[Reservation] (212) 885-7119
*Reservation recommended for the 1st set
[Admission] $18 Music cover, $20 minimum drink and food per person
[Description] Erika is returning to Jazz at Kitano with her jazz quintet before summer ends. She will start a crowdfunding campaign to raise the fund for her new album soon. It will be entitled “Here and Now” and is slated to be released in spring, 2020.
[Bio] New York-based, Japanese jazz vocalist, Erika Matsuo, burst on to the international jazz scene in 2010 with her self-produced debut, Obsession (ErikaJazz), a sensual sojourn through American, Brazilian and original songs, which was hailed by AllAboutJazz as “a promising debut, beautifully produced and finely performed.”
With her brand new release, Nostalgia (ErikaJazz), her third album, following on from the success of her sophmore outing,True Colors (which was picked by the prestigious jazz website JazzPage.com as “Finest Vocal Album of 2013”, and awarded her first place on the JazzPage.com Readers Poll), it is clear that the rising star is fulfilling that promise.
Inspired by the people Erika has met and worked with during her many tours of Japan over the past ten years, Nostalgia features four achingly beautiful original songs which represent the four seasons of the year and describe the nostalgia of some of these encounters.
The album features magnificent performances by Dr. Lonnie Smith, Gil Goldstein, Romero Lubambo, Jorge Continentino, Gregoire Maret, Juancho Herrera, Yosvany Terry, Helio Alves, Paulo Levi, James Zollar (who featured Erika’s “caressing vocals” on his JZAZ Records album, It’s All Good People), Jorge Continentino, Garrett Fishbach, Meg Okura, Essiet Essiet, Leo Traversa, Willard Dyson, Keita Ogawa and jazz pianist Yusuke Hirado of Quasimodo, with whom she co-wrote the original song Gekkoh. All provide the perfect support for Erika’s beautiful voice, which the legendary Dr. Lonnie Smith has lauded as “filled with sentiment and warmth [integrating] both passion and gentle emotion.”
A protégé of the great Sheila Jordan, Erika studied classical piano as a child and, in her late teens, 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 being invited to record and perform in New York as lead singer with his band. It was the beginning of her love affair with New York. Erika soon relocated, studying for a BFA in jazz voice at the 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, Erika 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 the nation.
Based in New York, she has performed at many of city’s top venues, including BB Kings, Sweet Rhythm, the Kitano, S.O.B.’s and the Blue Note, and regularly tours Japan, where she has appeared on the popular national TV show, Woman on the Planet and was recently featured on a recording session and ”behind the scenes” shooting of a video with Japanese super model/celebrity, Rola in Japan in August 2015.