Marica Hiraga is Japan’s leading jazz vocalist with a rich talent both in expression and technique. Her professional career began in 1981 after she was awarded the Asia Music Award in Hong Kong. She has acquired her understanding and feeling of jazz by performing and traveling between Tokyo and New York.
Her first Jazz standard album, My Shining Hour, was released in 2001, and won the Best Singing Techniques award at the 19th Japan Jazz Vocal Award hosted by Jazz World magazine in 2003. Her 2nd album, Faith, released in 2006, was recorded with Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Trio. Faith was selected as “ Swing Journal Gold Disc” and became her breakthrough album.
She then worked with the legendary jazz combo, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, lead by David Matthews, on 3rd album, Close to Bacharach, which was highly praised as the new Bacharach standards. The album was again selected as “ Swing Journal Gold Disc” and she received the Best Vocal award at the 41st Jazz Disc Award, hosted by Swing Journal, one of the most prestigious awards for jazz music in Japan.
In May 2008, she released a collection of mature love songs as 4th album, More Romance, and in November, she released 5th album, BATUCADA-Jazz‘ n’ Bossa, on which she worked with many prominent musicians including the genius Gil Goldstein, the leading AOR musician Michael Franks, Marcos Valle, Phil Woods, Kenny Garrett and Randy Brecker, as a celebration album for bossa nova’s 50th anniversary. BATUCADA was again selected as“ Swing Journal Gold Disc” and won her the Best Vocal award at the 42nd Jazz Disc Award.
In 2009, she released 6th album, Sing Once More-Dear Carpenters, a tribute album to Carpenters, for which she received the grand prize at the 25th Japan Jazz Vocal Award and the Best Vocal award at the 43rd Jazz Disc Award, making her the first musician to receive this award for 3 consecutive years.
In 2011, She released 7th album, Mona Lisa-Tribute to Nat King Cole, a tribute album to the legendary singer, Nat King Cole.
Marica Hiraga’s latest album, Sings With The Duke Ellington Orchestra, released in April 2012, The full big band album which becomes the first in self is challenged, and costarring with a historical big band is achieved.
She has been performing at numerous concert halls and jazz festivals, and her artistic talents extend to a wide range of activities, such as being a radio personality and contributing as a music magazine columnist.
Official website: http://www.marica.co.jp/
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