Emi Meyer and the Japan Trio at the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle,WA

Emi Meyer and her Japan Trio performed at Tula’s as part of the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival and I was taken aback with how wonderful she played and sang. The Kyoto-born, Seattle-raised pianist and vocalist, who won the Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist Competition in 2007 and has topped Japanese jazz charts, appeared with Motoki Yamaguchi (drums) and Masanori Hattori (bass). In addition she had local guitarist MILO PETERSEN sit in and join them. Emi and Milo met last spring at a benefit performance raising funds for Japanese victims of the earthquake and hit it off.See the rest of the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule

Born in Kyoto, Japan, and raised in Seattle, Emi Meyer’s culturally rich heritage has shaped the unique jazz-inspired pop sound heard on her three albums to date, including one recorded entirely in Japanese. Meyer began her musical career early in life, starting with classical piano at the age of 6 and eventually expanding to jazz “for the spontaneity it offered.”

It was her jazz background that paved the way for her win at the 2007 Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist Competition – a contest between residents of Seattle and its sister city of Kobe, Japan. Following her win, Meyer had the first of many performances in Japan, where she has subsequently enjoyed a great deal of success, and she credits the competition with giving her the courage to ultimately pursue her musical ambitions. With the release of her first album, Curious Creature, Emi was invited to perform at the legendary Sundance Film Festival and shot to the very top of the Japanese jazz charts after her single “Room Blue” was chosen Single of the Week on iTunes.

She continues to evolve as an artist, and her latest work, Suitcase of Stones, is a refreshingly unique blend of jazz, pop and soul, using powerful lyrics carried effortlessly along by her signature melodies. The record was mixed and mastered by Husky Huskolds, who has worked with the likes of Norah Jones and Yael Naim. Japan Times praised Meyer’s performance on Suitcase of Stones, citing Meyer’s “gift for belting out warm, wistful songs with a hint of nostalgia.”

Fresh from a string of charity concerts to support the country that has given her so much, Meyer is joined for this Earshot Jazz Festival performance by Motoki Yamaguchi (drums) and Masanori Hattori (bass).It was her jazz background that paved the way for her win at the 2007 Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist Competition – a contest between residents of Seattle and its sister city of Kobe, Japan. Following her win, Meyer had the first of many performances in Japan, where she has subsequently enjoyed a great deal of success, and she credits the competition with giving her the courage to ultimately pursue her musical ambitions. With the release of her first album, Curious Creature, Emi was invited to perform at the legendary Sundance Film Festival and shot to the very top of the Japanese jazz charts after her single “Room Blue” was chosen Single of the Week on iTunes.

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