New York City
With exposure to the different styles such Jazz, Funk, Latin, Gospel and inspired from being
surrounded by unique melodies and rhythm while working with musicians of Brazilian and African descent, pianist Mamiko Watanabe is trying to create uniquely her own sound and give "good vibrations" to people through music.
In 1999 she received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music and studied Jazz piano,
Improvisation and Composition. She was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Montreux Jazz
Festival Solo Piano Competition in Montreux, Switzerland both in 2002 and 2003. She has
toured Germany, Italy and Japan and has performed with several jazz greats such as Joe
Lovano, Kevin Mahogany, Bobby McFerrin, Tiger Okoshi and Phil Wilson while still in college.
In 2003 she received the DownBeat Student Award in the Jazz Soloist Category before she
made the decision to move to New York and expand her musical horizons. Since then, Mamiko
has performed in the 2010 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, the 2012 Super Jazz Ashdod Festival
in Israel and many other notable venues such as The Kitano NY, Blue Note N.Y. Sunday
Brunch & Late Night Groove Series, The Iridium, Dizzy's Club, The Lenox Lounge, Blues Alley (in Washington, D.C.), The Kennedy Center, Victoria Theater (at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center), Joe's Pub and S.O.B.'s, just to name a few.
Her exposure to several different styles of music such as Latin, Gospel, Reggae, Funk and
R&B is the result of her working with several Afro-Brazilian and African bands and playing
Gospel in Church every Sunday morning. She has worked with Roland Alexander Quintet,
Joe Ford, Valery Ponomarev Big Band & His Quintet and Afro-Brazilian groups such
"Ogans" and "Dende & Band”.
As a leader, Mamiko recorded her album, "One After Another" in 2005 and released her
second album,"ORIGIN/JEWEL” in 2007 which in fact is actually the combination of two
separate discs; "ORIGIN" is a collection of the Funk and Latin influences compositions and
"JEWEL" contains works recorded in a more straight-ahead jazz piano trio format. Her third release, entitled “Mother Earth” was completed in 2010 received excellent reviews from the writers of Jazz Inside Magazine, New York City Jazz Record and Jazziz Magazine.
Mamiko Watanabe’s tracks