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Dinner at: 12:30PM
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n/a $19.50

Saya - piano
Nori Shiota - bass
Jaimeo Brown - drums

Urban and Sophisticated, Saya is a pianist and composer who blends Jazz, R&B and Funk with a style all her own. Saya creates music that daydreams and dances, audible poetry that sends the mind traveling on a new sound adventure. Her influences include Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Joe Sample and George Duke.

Saya grew up listening to a wide variety of music styles in her native Tokyo. She showed great musical ability at an early age, learning to play piano by ear when she was only five. In high school, Saya first began playing jazz piano. Her passion for jazz brought her to New Orleans in 1992, where she received a music scholarship from Loyola University. Saya studied with pianist Mike Pellera and toured the United States and Latin America as Loyola University's representative jazz pianist. Saya also performed at the 1994 Elmhurst College Jazz Festival where she won the Outstanding Soloist Award.

After graduating in 1995, Saya continued her musical studies and apprenticeship with famed jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis. She performed with well-known New Orleans jazz musicians Wess Anderson, Steve Masakowski, Victor Goings, and Tony Dagradi, among others. In 1997, she produced and recorded her first piano trio work "Simple Poem" with bassist David Pulphus and drummer Jason Marsalis.

From 1997 to 1999, Saya was a member of the Neville Brothers and the Charles Neville Jazz Ensemble, and was musical director for the Aaron Neville Band. Saya toured with the Nevilles throughout the US and Canada, including annual concerts at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Neville's 1998 BB King & Dr. John Blues tour. Saya recorded “Brahm’s Lullaby” with Aaron Neville for the HBO program “Goodnight Moon”, and composed the song “Until We Meet Again” for the Neville Brothers CD "Valence Street", a 1999 Columbia Records release on which she also

In 1999 Saya moved west to California to work on her own musical projects. After signing with Japan's Pony Canyon Records in 2000, Saya released her debut album "Dance Your Heart" with Stan Gilbert (Bass) and Harvey Mason (Drums) in July 2001. In 2002 she recorded "UNITY" (Pony Canyon) with Mark Williams (Bass) and Deszon Claiborne (Drums), and the album won Swing Journal Magazine's coveted Gold Disc Award. Saya has played frequently in both Japan and the US, including a recent performance at the 2002 Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival and Blue Note Nagoya.

Her new album "Beautiful Day" (Pony Canyon) will be released in July 2003.


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