Akiko started vocal training in chorus groups while attending elementary, junior and senior high schools in Japan. She also took classical vocal training privately when she was eighteen years old.
She started singing professionally at nineteen years old in jazz clubs and lounges in Sendai and Yokohama, Japan. She was singing six nights a week at that time in various styles such as American pop, jazz and Japanese pop.
Akiko attended Berklee College of Music with help from a scholarship in 1986 where she studied vocal performing and piano. After graduating Berklee she performed in jazz clubs, jazz festivals in local cities and hotel lounges as a solo singer and also as a singer/pianist in Japan. She taught at several private music schools such as Yokohama Contemporary School of Music and Mate School of Music.
In 1998, she released her first CD “Alfie” with the Yuki Arimasa piano trio, which received a high evaluation by the Japanese jazz magazine “Jazz Life”.
After Akiko married, she settled in New England where she has been performing in jazz venues, restaurants and lounges in Boston and the North Shore area. She has been teaching music privately for the past 20 years.
Akiko is known as a solid vocalist who has amazing pitch control and nice jazzy phrasing!
FUN FACT: When Akiko was sixteen years old, she won the chance to perform a solo act on the Japanese TV program “NHK Nodo-Jiman” and the next year she auditioned and won another TV show called “Star-Tanjo,” which is similar to “American Idol.”