Kuriko Tsugawa (Bassist, Composer) Born in Tokyo (Japan) Kuriko Tsugawa started playing bass at the age of fifteen. Soon after she joined what would become her first jazz ensemble experience, the Tomisato High School big band, affectionately known as “The Mad Hatters”. As a member of “The Mad Hatters”, she had the opportunity to perform at major festivals throughout Japan. Recognition was waiting around the corner, and it was in 1999 that she and her bandmates won the first prize from the Student Jazz Festival that is held every year by Japan Association For Jazz Education. For three consecutive years Kuriko’s “Mad Hatters” shared bill with visiting artist Monterey High School Big Band in an annual festival held in Tomisato, Japan. This enriching annual encounters were the spark that ignited Kuriko´s passionate decision to pursue jazz music in the United States as a career.
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