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Karen Aoki performs Sunday at Cotonoha

Date Posted: 2011-06-03

Jazz singer-songwriter Karen Aoki wraps up the Okinawa leg of her ‘Voyage Release Tour 2011’ Sunday with a concert at Cotonoha Art Space and Café.

The globe-trotting Aoki spent her early childhood growing up in Hong Kong and The U.S. (Detroit). In her high school and college years, she hopped around Thailand, London, and Japan all the while participating in various club events. A demo tape of a band that Karen had formed at the time fell into the hands of the J-WAVE radio station, and was used as an opening song to one of their programs.

Aoki, who performs a variety of music crossing not only the jazz spectrum but other genres, too, entertains with lounge, swing, Bossa Nova and Latin Jazz. The Cotonoha Art Space and Café concert Sunday begins at 8 p.m., with doors open at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are ¥2,000. Tickets at the door are ¥2,500, and do not include food or drinks.

While working as a photographic assistant, Karen was singing acappella to one of her own creations when it fell on the ears of a media producer who then chose to use her voice in numerous commercials. After that, as she continued her musical creations, she released two mini indies albums, finally making her major debut in 2000 with three maxi singles and a full album. By 2003, Karen’s heart was stolen one day by the cool sound of Jazz. She immediately looked up all the jazz clubs in Tokyo and participated in their vocalist sessions that same day.

Now Karen finds herself singing in clubs all around the city, all while writing her own original jazz songs. Karen dominated various Japan Jazz Charts with her 2006 major debut "Tokyo J'z Trippin and has since emerged as one of the more popular vocalists on the Japanese jazz circuit. She performs regularly at all of the major jazz clubs in Japan and has recorded with the likes of Tatsuo Sunaga, indigo jam unit, native, Jabberloop, Shima & Shikou Duo and others.

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