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Monday Michiru, so named to reflect both her Japanese and American-Italian heritages, started music classically on flute, then expanded to singing and eventually composition. In 1987, she was discovered by Japanese movie director, Shinji Somai, to debut in the lead role as an opera singer in his movie “Hikaru Onna” (“Luminous Woman”) which garnered her Best New Actress awards through the Japan Academy, Kinema Junpo, and the Yokohama Film Festival. Her unexpected turn as an actress led to opportunities in movies, stage theatre and television, as well as hosting her own radio programs (JWave, FM Tokyo, etc.), modeling for major commercial ads (Kohdansha Publishing, Yubinchokin, NTT, Four Roses, etc.), journalism and other creative avenues. In 2012, she won American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar’s “Fabulous At Every Age” award, became the face of Indonesian makeup brand PAC as their “brand ambassador,” and in 2014 cast for Toshiba’s Regza TV promo video performing onscreen with her band.
She rerouted her focus to music with her debut album in 1991 and has released albums on an annual basis since, both as a soloist and featured in various artists’ works. Through her earlier works, Monday was initially known as one of the pioneers of the Japanese acid jazz movement, starting with the “Jap Hip Jazz” compilation with collaborations with United Future Organization, DJ Krush, Mondo Grosso, as well as Kyoto Jazz Massive, Basement Jaxx, Masters at Work, Joe Clausell, Blaze, Jazztronik, Louie Vega, and many others, making her a favored artist on the worldwide underground club scene consistently for over two decades. As the years progressed, her compositional style and repertoire evolved to that which is undeniably hers, with reflections of jazz, soul, Brazilian, folk, and other urban and world flavors.
Monday has appeared in numerous music festivals and clubs worldwide as a solo artist, most recently at the Blue Note in Tokyo, Birdland (NYC), and Brazil SummerFest in NYC. Her most recent release (July 2015) is “Jazz Conversations: The Other Side of Monday Michiru,” a dream duet project with her mother legendary pianist/composer/big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi. A double CD compilation project, “Portraits In Time: 2002 2013,” is slated for release the end of 2015/early 2016.
“…she’s got that certain crossover appeal that is fluent in urban R&B, contemporary jazz, rock and infectious Brazilian rhythms, resulting in music that’s not easily categorized, yet is thoroughly engaging.” — All About Jazz
“At a time when music is in a state of flux mostly as a result of the virtual collision of idioms and metaphors, it is a joy to hear the voice of Monday Michiru.” — Latin Jazz Network
“Michiru has been able to parlay her pedigree into a significant career of her own, staking a place within jazz as singer and composer crafting danceable but artistically significant Brazilian flavored acid-jazz and soul with an underground flair…Multi-talented with a lot to show for it, Monday Michiru’s lack of any commercial success in the American market is a bit baffling and the uncompromising Soulception likely won’t break her into it. But that’s on us Americans, not her. The few Yanks who will find this record are likely to consider themselves lucky that they did.” — Something Else
“Michiru’s highly polished voice is as born to the intricate rhythms and soulful possibilities of the jazz idiom as Ella Fitzerald’s or Dionne Warwick’s, but taps into the Brazilian sultriness of Bebel Gilberto and Gal Costa.” — Daily OM
“A small, beautiful woman with endless power.” — Jazz Dimensions