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[Concert Report] Aki Yashiro on the Stage as a Jazz Singer in NY with Helen Merrill.


Aki Yashiro had a Jazz concert in New York on the night of March 27th Eastern time.

-Aki Yashiro Photo

'Yoru no Album' is a Jazz Standard Cover album by Enka singer Aki Yashiro as her reminiscence for her club singer time while she made her way singing jazz standards. This made a big hit in Japan and was distributed throughout the world in 75countries. That made her dream came true to perform in New York.

The venue 'Birdland' on 44th street in Manhattan is a renowned jazz club that numerous legends performed. The 500 tickets to the show got sold out. The show was a full house success with so many people standing.

Aki Yashiro went up on stage with amazing top-notch band behind her back. She sang her famous song 'Ame no Bojo' A capella and grabed the audience's attention.

She sang 'Fly me to te moon' 'Journey Guitar' and 'Autumn Leaves' from the album. Also, a Grammy Award singer,Kurt Elling and Regina Carter joined her on the stage.

'It's been a great day for me to be able to share a night with such a great band and of course with you.' , when Aki said so, Helen Merrill(82) , her inspiration since she was 16 years old, came up on the stage. Helen wrote a recommendation comment on her Jazz album and was willing to join her on the stage for that special night.

Aki and Helen sang Helen's hit song 'You'd be so nice to come home to ' and a folklore from Aki's home town, Kumamoto, called 'Itsuki no Komoriuta'. Actually, Helen used to live in Kumamoto in the late 60's for a couple of years, this song has been Helen's repertoire as well. New York's whisper voice and Tokyo's whisper voice, those two husky voices melted into the night of the New York, bringing sigh from the audience.

When Aki closed the show with her popular song 'Funa Uta', a big applause followed from the audience. Aki sang 11 songs in total including encore, and the audience praised her voice saying 'Wonderful Performance', 'Can't believe it's her first time in New York', and 'He voice fits mellow songs'.

She came across Jazz when she was 11 years old and decided to be a singer. This was a dream-come-true show for Aki after 50 years of dreaming. After the show Aki said 'It's just like a dream to be singing with such a great band from New York and at a legendary venue. Also audience were great tonight. It brought home to me that there's no boundary for music.'

Aki's Jazz documentary including this New York performance will be broadcasted on NHK SOGO TV on April 29th (Mon) 10pm.

Photo by Shino Yanagawa

'Yoru no Album'
Released October 10th 2012
CD:UCCJ-2105 3,150 yen (tax in)
Analog LP:UCJJ-9005 3,600 yen (tax in)

-Aki Yashiro Universal Music Official Website

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