[Event] Lyricist Lounge Showcase from Monday Michiru’s Lyric Writing Masterclass – Storytellers Workshop NYC
Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019
Show: 3:00pm (70 mins)
Venue: Club Bonafide
Address: 212 E 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10022
Singers/Lyricists: Yuka Mito, MARI, Choco Yoshioka, Shiori Shinohara, Toshie Kimura
Musicians; Misha Tsiganov (piano), Freddie Bryant (guitar), Leo Traversa (bass)
Born in Miyagi prefecture and raised in Osaka and Kyoto. Influenced by her grandfather, a violinist/music teacher and her father, a classical pianist/manager of Kyoto University alumni choral group, Choco made her first stage debut as a solo artist at her age of 17, and regularly made appearances in the variety of shows based in the Kansai area in Japan. In 1998 Choco went abroad to further her musical knowledge in the U.S. and after she graduated from Berklee Collage of Music in Boston, Choco moved to New York City, where she started a wide range of activities such as performing, organizing talent shows, as well as teaching music, and in Summer 2012 founded “ACE Music Studio”, where she instructs children and adults. In the spring of 2014, Choco underwent delicate surgeries due to congenital disease of intestine and repeatedly hospitalized. That prompted her to spend each day doing what she truly loves, “creating works of art”. After she recovered, Choco started actively producing shows including ALIVE Performance Show centering on Music, Dance and Theater showcase, which runs since fall 2014 and writing music for her original short musicals, which first came out in 2016. She is currently working on her first EP and recording in New York and Malaysia. Her interview slot in the Info-fresh New York online news board “Surviving in New York, CHOCO’s Artist Interview ~My life 10 yeas ago, My future 10 years from now~” has been ranked top in the What’s New article ranking.
Shiori Shinohara is from Nagoya, Japan.She started piano at the age of 3, and at age of 15, she started vocal and drums. In Tokyo, started performing as a singer in a soul and funk band, and joined a Gospel choir conducted by Chie Ayado, performed at venues such as Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo International Forum, Osaka-Jo Hall, World Expo in Aichi. She moved to New York in 2007, started jazz singing and performed at Lenox Lounge, Greenwich Bistro, Tomi Jazz, the West End, Webster Hall and many other venues in New York.
[YUKA MITO] Japanese-born Jazz Vocalist Yuka Mito, who is also a composer and bandleader, delivers her passion and love of Jazz through her performances. Her repertoire contains songs from the Great American Song Book, Bossa Nova, Japanese Pop Songs and her original compositions. It features Yuka’s improvisation and beautiful arrangements by her fellow musicians Allen Farnham and Chiemi Nakai.
Ms. Mito released her solo album in 2011, which has been well received. She is based in New York and performs in the New York and Tokyo jazz scenes in venues such as Jazz at Kitano, Club Bonafide, Tomi Jazz, Jazz Spot J, Rakuya and Tokyo Club.
Born in Japan, Monday’s musical and cultural perspectives were formed not only by her upbringing in both Japan and coastal U.S., but also by her legendary jazz parents, NEA Jazz Master and Japanese Living Treasure Toshiko Akiyoshi, cult jazz saxophonist Charlie Mariano, and tenor saxophonist-flutist Lew Tabackin. In 1987, after starring in “Hikaru Onna,” a film by Shinji Somai for which she won Best New Actress by the Japan Film Academy, her career in Japan began to take off in acting, followed by a prolific stream of recordings; to date, Monday has nearly 200 solo and collaborative projects under her belt, many which have topped the charts in Japan and Europe (“My Foolish Dream,” “You Make Me,” “Play It By Ear,” theme songs to “Legend of the Galactic Heroes,” “Star Suite,” amongst others).
The year 2000 witnessed Monday’s move to New York where she raised her son and still lives today. “When I became a mother, there was a nurturing side of me that was unleashed,” she reflects explaining her interest in teaching. The idea of the lyric writing masterclass began to form when, upon researching classes offered at various music universities, Monday noted an absence of lyric writing courses. “There’s songwriting and composition classes offered, but nothing supporting lyric writing, which I find odd and wanting. It’s a necessary and important part of songs.” After over a year of formulating a course structure, Monday conducted her first lyric writing seminar this summer to much success: Storytellers Workshop NYC was born.
Forest of Swingin’ Notes, a new Project and Promotion Service formed this year and headed by Hiroshi Kono (Mar Creation) and Mizuho Uchiyama (Nu Jazz Entertainment, New York Japanese Jazz Festival), are the co-presenters of Storytellers Workshop NYC. While the three share a Japanese and jazz background, the seminars will be open to people of all races and genres, with the sole focus on English lyric writing. “It’s important for me to not be rigid in the curriculum with set rules and a formula, but to meet the needs of the participants; everyone has a different issue, whether it’s a writer’s block or just trying to figure out how words should fit over a melody, and I think it’s important to address these issues. Lyric writing is tricky, there are some rules but it’s all about the balance and flow with the music.” Upon the conclusion of the weekly four class course, there will be a 70-minute showcase by the participants to perform their creations at Club Bonafide. “It was clear to us during the summer session that the participants wanted to share and sing what they were writing.”
“At the end of the day, everyone has a story, and that’s what lyric writing is, a form of storytelling. Writing is like any muscle, you’ve got to do it or you lose it, and that’s what these seminars will be about, unleashing what’s inside, and exercising that muscle. So let’s lyricize!”