Primary Instrument: Vocalist
A creative and subtle jazz and ballad vocalist, Aniya puts a lot of heart and feeling into the lyrics that she sings. Her warm and quietly expressive voice is heard regularly in the Los Angeles area.
When she was 18, Aniya started working in Tokyo nightclubs as a singer-pianist, mostly performing pop music. After she graduated from college, she had an opportunity to perform at a Japanese nightclub in San Francisco for a few months. After returning home, she soon returned to California, moving to Los Angeles where she studied at the Dick Grove School Of Music. Sue Raney was one of the vocal teachers and Aniya was greatly moved by her singing which inspired her to sing jazz.
Aniya picked up important experience as a member of the Tak Shindo Swing Band for several years, building up her repertoire and enjoying singing in front of a band. “I remember the first time I performed in front of 700 people with the Tak Shindo Swing Band. I was nervous, but only until I started singing. Once I started, I felt a huge wave of energy from the audience and 20 musicians playing behind me. It felt so good.”
She spent several years performing at a countless number of piano bars in the Japanese community of Los Angeles while studying jazz. Aniya met a lot of top musicians while singing at jam sessions and she started getting a lot of offers to work at jazz clubs. She appeared regularly at Chadney’s, Lunaria and Vagilio’s and also at the KLON Jazz Caravan and the Pasadena Summer Jazz Festival.
In 2007, Aniya made her first CD, In Other Words, a set of eight standards and love songs that she sings with the brilliant rhythm section of pianist Alan Broadbent, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Peter Erskine. Whether it is “Fly Me To The Moon” (which includes the rarely-heard verse), “The Look Of Love,” or a touching “Everytime We Say Goodbye,” Aniya not only does justice to the material but makes the songs sound like her own.
These days, Aniya performs several times a week at Bobby London, a popular jazz bar in Koreatown, using such sidemen as guitarists Doug MacDonald and Hide Tokunaga, pianist Gaea Schell and bassist Tony Dumas as her accompanists. She has also worked with guitarist Ron Anthony and drummers Ralph Penland and Roy McCurdy. In addition, Aniya is an educator, teaching young vocalists the lessons that she has learned from performing jazz in public.
“I have a very intimate and relaxing style,” says Aniya. “and I love to perform in intimate environments and small clubs.” A subtle improviser with a beautiful voice, Aniya is today one of the top jazz singers residing in the Los Angeles area, and she is clearly heading for greater success.
Born in Tokyo, Aniya has established herself in Los Angeles as a singer and pianist who has a very attractive voice and an intimate style. After performing at many clubs including regularly at the popular Koreatown jazz bar Bobby London, she was long overdue to make a recording that her fans and other jazz listeners would enjoy. Guitarist-producer Dirk K. persuaded her that now was the time and the results are quite rewarding.
Each of Aniya’s sidemen has an endless amount of very impressive credits. Alan Broadbent has performed with the who’s who of jazz. Among the vocalists who he has worked with have been Irene Kral (their three ballad albums are exquisite), Sue Raney, Diana Krall (as her musical director and conductor), Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Karrin Allyson, Mary Stallings, Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Carol Sloane. Dave Carpenter has played with nearly every major musician who has passed through Los Angeles with some of the more notable names including Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Bill Holman and Lalo Schifrin. Peter Erskine, after extensive tours with Stan Kenton, became famous for playing with Weather Report. He has since appeared on hundreds of recordings including with such singers as Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Tania Maria, Ricki Lee Jones and Barbara Streisand. All three of the masterful musicians can now add Aniya to their credits.
In Other Words is full of subtle creativity and surprises. The set begins with the rarely-heard verse of “Fly Me To The Moon” during a version that is much slower than usual and quite heartfelt. “Lover Man” has close interaction between Aniya and Dave Carpenter while “Blame It On My Youth” has one of the singer’s most expressive vocals. “The Look Of Love,” which Aniya says is her all-time favorite song, is full of joy which she expresses at a relaxed tempo. Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness Of You,” Duke Ellington’s “Prelude To A Kiss,” Cole Porter’s wistful “Everytime We Say Goodbye” and “Never Let Me Go” all receive warm treatment by the singer and her all-star trio.
Throughout In Other Words, Aniya displays an intimate, warm and sensuous style. Her voice is quiet but powerful, cool but with a great deal of inner heat felt just beneath the surface. Her interpretations are quite memorable and heartfelt.
For more information on In Other Words and Aniya, she can be contacted through her website, www.aniya.com.
Los Angeles, CA