Migiwa’s music reflects the complexities and hues of her own journey, while her passion to “make the world a better place through music” instantly touches the heart of the listener.
Migiwa’s career path began in Tokyo on a very different trajectory—she worked as a director of real estate ads, an IT engineer, and then an editor-in-chief of a travel magazine. But in 2004, at the age of 30, she decided to follow her true passion and become a musician. Five years later, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, a New York–based ensemble with more than a half-century-long history, recognized Migiwa’s talent and invited her to produce their Japan tour, which she has done every year since. In 2011 and 2014, she was nominated for a Grammy Award as associate producer on the orchestra’s albums.
In 2012, having received a Japanese government scholarship and a Japan-US Friendship Commission Fellowship, Migiwa picked up and moved to New York. She now leads big bands on both sides of the Pacific that play her compositions, and she also composes for artists such as world-renowned saxophonist Steve Wilson. In 2015, she arranged, produced, and played piano on Fly Free, an album by Yukiko Miyazaki (vocalist).
July 2017 marks Migiwa’s first appearance at one of New York’s most storied jazz clubs, Birdland. The concert will be a send-off as she begins recording her US debut album, Colorful, at the prestigious Sear Sound studio in Manhattan the following month.