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Katsuko Tanaka

A Japanese native, Katsuko Tanaka moved to New York City in 2008 in order to immerse herself in the culture and traditions of American blues and jazz music. Since relocating Katsuko has been privileged to share the stage with internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, leading bands locally and abroad that have showcased artists like Willie Jones III, Lonnie Plaxico, Gene Jackson, Victor Lewis, Essiet Okon Essiet, and many upcoming young stellar.

She had taken classical piano lesson, sight reading, and ear training from the age of three at YAMAHA music school OSAKA. She received a Rotary International Foundation full scholarship to study classical piano at California State University, Long Beach. At CSULB she was awarded Jean Louise Boggess Scholarship, Mary E. Israel Scholarship, and State Paid Lessons. Being inspired by live jazz in America, Katsuko started to take private jazz lessons from Kei Akagi, Cecilia Coleman, and Brad Mehldau. After received her BA in classical piano performance, she returned Japan and started her jazz career.

After moving to NY, in 2009 she recorded her debut album BEYOND INTERSECTION, featuring Willie Jones III, Danton Boller, and a guest appearance by Antonio Hart. She received an MA in jazz piano performance from Queens College CUNY in 2010. She was commissioned to conduct a jazz performance and workshop sponsored by C.A.S.A. at El Museo Del Barrio Theater for 120 students in 2013, and gained a high reputation.

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Katsuko carries with her a blend of cultural perspectives that have continued to grow and evolve. WISH BOARD showcases this unique viewpoint, with her dynamic, elegant sound skillfully and soulfully accompanied by her sidemen, Corcoran Holt and Willie Jones III.

The album begins with BLOSSOM IN QUEENS, inspired by the positivity of musicians Jimmy Heath, Michael Philip Mossman and Antonio Hart, all faculty of her alma mater, Queens College. WITH EYES OF TRUTH lays back, staying in the pocket, inspired by her neighborhood in Brooklyn. A DREAM is a delicate ballad played with sensitivity and cinematic flair, while HAVE PEACE IN YOUR HEART is influenced by her regular work with a gospel churches over the past two years

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