Born: August 10, 1965 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Akiko Pavolka is a New York-based musician, composer and educator who’s strikingly original music blends pop and jazz with the music and sensibilities of her native Japan. She has released four records as a leader, most recently the critically-acclaimed “Trust Aqua” from Tone Of A Pitch Records in Portugal. Her band House of Illusion has been performing regularly in New York since 1998. They have toured in the United States, Europe and Japan. Akiko has also composed music for commissioned projects in Japan and was a founding member of the underground rock band Entropy in the late 90’s. In addition to her own recordings she can be heard on Japanese Koto Virtuoso Mizuyo Komiya’s new release “Zumik Music”, Alan Ferber’s recent release “Exit Row” for the Fresh Sounds, New Talent label in Spain, and husband Matt Pavolka’s release “Something People Can Use” also on Tone Of A Pitch Records. Recently she has completed two tours of Portugal and Spain to promote her previous release, “Begin Again”. She performed at venues including La Quinta Splendida Jazz Festival in Madeira, The Hot Club, Bicaense Café and the Centro Cultural de Belem in Lisbon, Auditorio Gulbenkian in Braga, Jamboree in Barcelona and Nova Jazz Cava in Terrassa. A tour to promote “Trust Aqua” is currently in the works. Akiko is also active as an educator and clinician, teaching voice and piano privately and in group settings and working with at-risk children in New York’s inner city.
Akiko was born in Tokyo and grew up in Yokohama, Japan. By her teen years she was performing as a singer, bassist and drummer with rock and roll bands. Her interests turned to jazz and after several years of gigging as a vocalist in Tokyo, she was ready to move to the United States to further her studies at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music. She graduated in 1994 with a degree in Performance and was also awarded the Cleo Laine Outstanding Vocalist Award. She moved to New York in 1995. Her band has performed in New York City venues including Joe’s Pub, The Knitting Factory, Fez, The Living Room, Barbes, Rockwood Music Hall and Cornelia Street Café.
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